Genetic Modulation of HPV Infection and Cervical Lesions: Role of Oxidative Stress-Related Genes

Antioxidants (Basel). 2023 Sep 27;12(10):1806. doi: 10.3390/antiox12101806.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a necessary but not sufficient factor for the development of invasive cervical cancer (ICC) and high-grade intraepithelial lesion (HSIL). Oxidative stress is known to play a crucial role in HPV infection and carcinogenesis. In this study, we comprehensively investigate the modulation of HPV infection, HSIL and ICC, and ICC through an exploration of oxidative stress-related genes: CβS, MTHFR, NOS3, ACE1, CYBA, HAP, ACP1, GSTT1, GSTM1, and CYP1A1. Notably, the ACE1 gene emerges as a prominent factor with the presence of the I allele offering protection against HPV infection. The association of NOS3 with HPV infection is perceived with the 4a allele showing a protective effect. The presence of the GSTT1 null mutant correlates with increased susceptibility to HPV infection, HSIL and ICC, and ICC. This study also uncovers intriguing epistatic interactions among some of the genes that further accentuate their roles in disease modulation. Indeed, the epistatic interactions between the BB genotype (ACP1) and DD genotype (ECA1) were shown to increase the risk of HPV infection, and the interaction between BB (ACP1) and 0.0 (GSTT1) was associated with HPV infection and cervical lesions. These findings underscore the pivotal role of four oxidative stress-related genes in HPV-associated cervical lesions and cancer development, enriching our clinical understanding of the genetic influences on disease manifestation. The awareness of these genetic variations holds potential clinical implications.

Keywords: HPV infection; HSIL; ICC; genetics; oxidative stress.

Grants and funding

This research was funded by Instituto Bento da Rocha Cabral.