Modulation of DNA methylation by human papillomavirus E6 and E7 oncoproteins in cervical cancer (Review)
- Prakriti Sen
- Pooja Ganguly
- Niladri Ganguly
Published online on: October 30, 2017
Copyright: © Sen et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are double stranded circular DNA viruses that infect cutaneous and mucosal epithelial cells. Almost 99% of cervical cancer has a HPV infection. The early oncoproteins E6 and E7 are important in this cellular transformation process. Epigenetic mechanisms have long been known to result in decisive alterations in DNA, leading to alterations in DNA‑protein interactions, alterations in chromatin structure and compaction and significant alterations in gene expression. The enzymes responsible for these epigenetic modifications are DNA methyl transferases (DNMTs), histone acetylases and deacetylases. Epigenetics has an important role in cancer development by modifying the cellular micro environment. In this review, the authors discuss the role of HPV oncoproteins E6 and E7 in modulating the epigenetic mechanisms inside the host cell. The oncoproteins induce the expression of DNMTs which lead to aberrant DNA methylations and disruption of the normal epigenetic processes. The E7 oncoprotein may additionally directly bind and induce methyl transferase activity of the enzyme. These modulations lead to altered gene expression levels, particularly the genes involved in apoptosis, cell cycle and cell adhesion. In addition, the present review discusses how epigenetic mechanisms may be targeted for possible therapeutic interventions for HPV mediated cervical cancer.