Orthogonal ubiquitin transfer reveals human papillomavirus E6 downregulates nuclear transport to disarm interferon-γ dependent apoptosis of cervical cancer cells

Yiyang Wang, Ruochuan Liu, Jia Liao, Lucen Jiang, Geon H. Jeong, Li Zhou, Monica Polite, Duc Duong, Nicholas T. Seyfried, Huadong Wang*, Hiroaki Kiyokawa, Jun Yin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The E6 protein of the human papillomavirus (HPV) underpins important protein interaction networks between the virus and host to promote viral infection. Through its interaction with E6AP, a host E3 ubiquitin (UB) ligase, E6 stirs the protein ubiquitination pathways toward the oncogenic transformation of the infected cells. For a systematic measurement of E6 reprogramming of the substrate pool of E6AP, we performed a proteomic screen based on “orthogonal UB transfer (OUT)” that allowed us to identify the ubiquitination targets of E6AP dependent on the E6 protein of HPV-16, a high-risk viral subtype for the development of cervical cancer. The OUT screen identified more than 200 potential substrates of the E6-E6AP pair based on the transfer of UB from E6AP to the substrate proteins. Among them, we verified that E6 would induce E6AP-catalyzed ubiquitination of importin proteins KPNA1-3, protein phosphatase PGAM5, and arginine methyltransferases CARM1 to trigger their degradation by the proteasome. We further found that E6 could significantly reduce the cellular level of KPNA1 that resulted in the suppression of nuclear transport of phosphorylated STAT1 and the inhibition of interferon-γ-induced apoptosis in cervical cancer cells. Overall, our work demonstrates OUT as a powerful proteomic platform to probe the interaction of E6 and host cells through protein ubiquitination and reveals a new role of E6 in down-regulating nuclear transport proteins to attenuate tumor-suppressive signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere21986
JournalFASEB Journal
Volume35
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • apoptosis
  • E6
  • E6AP
  • nuclear transport
  • orthogonal ubiquitin transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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