Destabilization of the RB Tumor Suppressor Protein and Stabilization of p53 Contribute to HPV Type 16 E7-induced Apoptosis

Virology. 1997 Dec 8;239(1):97-107. doi: 10.1006/viro.1997.8851.


Cells that express the human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 E7 oncoprotein are predisposed to undergo apoptosis. Transgenic mice that have E7 expression targeted to either the retinal photoreceptor cells or the lens cells exhibit signs of apoptosis in cells attempting to undergo differentiation. We established a cell culture system to study this process and have determined the domains of E7 that are required for predisposing cells to undergo apoptosis in response to growth arrest signals. Regions within the core pRB binding site of E7 were necessary but not sufficient for inducing apoptosis. Residues within the adenovirus conserved region 1 homology domain and the consensus casein kinase II phosphorylation site are also important for this effect on cell viability. Our data also demonstrate that the ability of E7 to induce destabilization of pRB and stabilization of p53 coincides with E7-mediated transformation and apoptosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Cell Line
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Viral
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral / genetics*
  • Papillomaviridae*
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins
  • Papillomavirus Infections / genetics
  • Papillomavirus Infections / metabolism
  • Papillomavirus Infections / pathology*
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / genetics*
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism
  • Tumor Virus Infections / genetics
  • Tumor Virus Infections / metabolism
  • Tumor Virus Infections / pathology*


  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins
  • Retinoblastoma Protein
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • oncogene protein E7, Human papillomavirus type 16