The selective retention and expression of the E6-E7 region of human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18 in cervical carcinomas suggests that these viral sequences play a role in the development of genital neoplasia. Each of three possible gene products, E6, E6*, and E7, from this region of HPV-18 were examined for transforming properties in several types of rodent cells. We have found that in immortalized fibroblasts, both E6 and E7 (but not E6*) are capable of inducing anchorage-independent growth. In rat embryo cells, the HPV-18 E7 open reading frame was an effective immortalizing agent and complemented an activated ras oncogene for transformation. In both immortalized and primary cells, transformation was observed when the HPV-18 sequences were expressed from either the HPV-18 promoter or a heterologous promoter. The E6-E7 region is not, however, the sole transforming domain of HPV-18, since another portion of the early region, possibly E5, also exhibited transforming capability in immortalized fibroblasts. The development of human cervical carcinomas may therefore involve a series of steps involving multiple viral and cellular gene products.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science