O-linked GlcNAcylation elevated by HPV E6 mediates viral oncogenesis

Academic Article


  • High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are causative agents of anogenital cancers and a fraction of head and neck cancers. The mechanisms involved in the progression of HPV neoplasias to cancers remain largely unknown. Here, we report that O-linked GlcNAcylation (O-GlcNAc) and O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) were markedly increased in HPV-caused cervical neoplasms relative to normal cervix, whereas O-GlcNAcase (OGA) levels were not altered. Transduction of HPV16 oncogene E6 or E6/E7 intomouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) up-regulated OGT mRNA and protein, elevated the level of O-GlcNAc, and promoted cell proliferation while reducing cellular senescence. Conversely, in HPV-18-transformed HeLa cervical carcinoma cells, inhibition of O-GlcNAc with a low concentration of a chemical inhibitor impaired the transformed phenotypes in vitro. We showed that E6 elevated c-MYC via increased protein stability attributable to O-GlcNAcylation on Thr58. Reduction of HPV-mediated cell viability by a high concentration of O-GlcNAc inhibitor was partially rescued by elevated c-MYC. Finally, knockdown of OGT or O-GlcNAc inhibition in HeLa cells or in TC-1 cells, a mouse cell line transformed by HPV16 E6/E7 and activated K-RAS, reduced c-MYC and suppressed tumorigenesis and metastasis. Thus, we have uncovered a mechanism for HPV oncoprotein-mediated transformation. These findings may eventually aid in the development of effective therapeutics for HPV-associated malignancies by targeting aberrant O-GlcNAc.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Zeng Q; Zhao RX; Chen J; Li Y; Li XD; Liu XL; Zhang WM; Quan CS; Wang YS; Zhai YX
  • Start Page

  • 9333
  • End Page

  • 9338
  • Volume

  • 113
  • Issue

  • 33