Coordinated Expression of HPV-6 Genes with Predominant E4 and E5 Expression in Laryngeal Papilloma

Microorganisms. 2021 Mar 3;9(3):520. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms9030520.


Laryngeal papilloma (LP) associated with human papillomavirus (HPV)-6 or -11 infection shows aggressive growth. However, the detailed molecular mechanism of virus-driven tumorigenesis has not been uncovered fully. HPV-6 viral gene expression and dynamic alterations were investigated with in situ localization of viral DNA and RNA in 13 patients with HPV-6-infected laryngeal papilloma. The average viral load was 4.80 × 105 ± 1.86 × 105 copies/ng DNA. E4, E5a, and E5b mRNAs accounted for 96% of the expression of 9 mRNAs. The alteration of viral DNA load during recurrence paralleled the mRNA expression levels, and the expression of all mRNAs showed a similar curve. E4, E5a, and E5b were expressed in the middle to upper part of the epithelium and were co-expressed in the same cells. E4 immunohistochemistry demonstrated an extensively positive reaction in the upper cell layer in accordance with E4 mRNA expression. These results suggest that individual viral genes are coordinately expressed for viral replication, virus release, and immunosurveillance avoidance. The newly developed E4-specific monoclonal antibody can be applied to further functional studies and clinical applications such as targeted molecular therapies.

Keywords: anti-E4 monoclonal antibody; human papillomavirus 6; laryngeal papilloma; long-term alteration of viral load; viral lineage; viral mRNA expression.