High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are present in virtually all cervical carcinomas. However, the majority of women infected with high-risk HPVs do not develop cervical cancer. Therefore, cofactors must contribute to the development and progression of cervical cancer. Although numerous studies have implicated steroid hormones as cofactors in the initiation and progression of cervical neoplasia, the molecular mechanisms by which they contribute to cervical carcinogenesis are currently unknown. These observations led us to investigate a newly discovered association of the high-risk HPV type 16 (HPV16) E7 oncoprotein with steroid receptor coactivator 1 (SRC-1), an essential component of steroid hormone signaling. HPV16 E7 has been previously reported to interact with p300 and p300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF), members of some SRC-1 transcriptional complexes. We demonstrate here that HPV16 E7 associates in vivo and in vitro with SRC-1 independently of p300 and PCAF. Luciferase reporter constructs under the control of either the interleukin-8 promoter or a promoter containing multimerized synthetic estrogen response elements were used to determine the effect of high- and low-risk HPV E7 expression on SRC-1-mediated transcription. In addition, histone acetyltransferase (HAT) assays were performed to determine the effect of HPV E7 on SRC-1-associated HAT activity. These experiments reveal that HPV16 E7 expression down-regulates SRC-1-mediated transcription and SRC-1-associated HAT activity. SRC-1 localization experiments show that SRC-1 is relocalized to the cytoplasm in the presence of high- and low-risk HPV E7 proteins. Our data suggest that HPV E7 proteins dysregulate hormone-dependent gene expression by association with and relocalization of SRC-1. Dysregulation of SRC-1 localization and function by HPV E7 may provide insight into the molecular mechanisms by which steroid hormones act as cofactors in the induction and progression of cervical neoplasia.
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