Human papillomavirus type 16 E6 and E7 oncoproteins act synergistically to cause head and neck cancer in mice
Shin, M. K.
Pitot, H. C.
Lambert, P. F.
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High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) contribute to cervical and other anogenital cancers, and they are also linked etiologically to a subset of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). We previously established a model for HPV-associated HNSCC in which we treated transgenic mice expressing the papillomaviral oncoproteins with the chemical carcinogen 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (4-NQO). We found that the HPV-16 E7 oncoprotein was highly potent in causing HNSCC, and its dominance masked any potential oncogenic contribution of E6, a second papillomaviral oncoprotein commonly expressed in human cancers. In the current study, we shortened the duration of treatment with 4-NQO to reduce the incidence of cancers and discovered a striking synergy between E6 and E7 in causing HNSCC. Comparing the oncogenic properties of wild-type versus mutant E6 genes in this model for HNSCC uncovered a role for some but not other cellular targets of E6 previously shown to contribute to cervical cancer. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
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