Human papillomavirus (HPV) E6 proteins of high-risk alpha types target a select group of PSD95/DLG1/ZO1 (PDZ) domain-containing proteins by using a C-terminal PDZ-binding motif (PBM), an interaction that can be negatively regulated by phosphorylation of the E6 PBM by protein kinase A (PKA). Here, we have mutated the canonical PKA recognition motif that partially overlaps with the E6 PBM in the HPV18 genome (E6153PKA) and compared the effect of this mutation on the HPVl8 life cycle in primary keratinocytes with the wild-type genome and with a second mutant genome that lacks the E6 PBM (E6ΔPDZ). Loss of PKA recognition of E6 was associated with increased growth of the genome-containing cells relative to cells carrying the wild-type genome, and upon stratification, a more hyperplastic phenotype, with an increase in the number of S-phase competent cells in the upper suprabasal layers, while the opposite was seen with the E6ΔPDZ genome. Moreover, the growth of wild-type genome-containing cells was sensitive to changes in PKA activity, and these changes were associated with increased phosphorylation of the E6 PBM. In marked contrast to E6ΔPDZ genomes, the E6153PKA mutation exhibited no deleterious effects on viral genome amplification or expression of late proteins. Our data suggest that the E6 PBM function is differentially regulated by phosphorylation in the HPV18 life cycle. We speculate that perturbation of protein kinase signaling pathways could lead to changes in E6 PBM function, which in turn could have a bearing on tumor promotion and progression.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © 2013 Delury et al.
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