The role of human papillomavirus type 16 E6/E7 oncoproteins in cervical epithelial-mesenchymal transition and carcinogenesis

Oncol Lett. 2012 Mar;3(3):667-671. doi: 10.3892/ol.2011.512. Epub 2011 Dec 5.


Cervical cancer is the most common malignancy in females worldwide. This study investigated the prevalence of the E6/E7 oncoproteins of human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16, which are important in fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 2- and 4-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cervical tumorigenesis. We investigated the functional interaction between HPV16 E6/E7-transfected Cx cells (CxWJ cells) and treatment with FGF2 and 4, according to the expression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), vimentin and E-cadherin protein as well as cell growth and invasive ability. The results showed the upregulation of α-SMA and vimentin and the downregulation of E-cadherin protein expression in CxWJ cells. HPV16 E6/E7 infection partially repressed proliferation, but not the invasive ability of FGF2 or FGF4 stimulation in cervical cancer cells (CxWJ cells). These data provide evidence of a functional interaction between HPV16 E6/E7 and FGFs 2 and 4, suggesting that cooperative stimulation of HPV E6/E7 and FGFs activated in human cervical cancer cells is required to completely overcome the oncogenic function associated with the development of cervical epithelial-mesenchymal transition and tumorigenesis.