Human telomerase reverse transcriptase regulates vascular endothelial growth factor expression via human papillomavirus oncogene E7 in HPV-18-positive cervical cancer cells
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Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection induces chronic and precancerous lesions and results in invasive cervical cancer. Human telomerase as well as inflammatory and angiogenic factors such as telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) could play a role in regulating HPV-induced cervical cancer. This study investigated underlying molecular events in HPV-induced HPV-positive cervical cancer through hTERT and VEGF in vitro. Expressions of hTERT, a rate-limiting subunit of telomerase, and VEGF mRNA and proteins were, respectively, assessed by qRT-PCR, ELISA, and TRAP-ELISA in HPV-positive tissue samples and cervical cancer cell lines. To assess hTERT and VEGF secretion, hTERT overexpression and knockdown were conducted in HPV-18-positive Hela cells by hTERT cDNA and shRNA transfection, respectively. Then, the effect of HPV E6 and E7 on VEGF expressions was assessed in HPV-negative cervical cancer cells. Data have shown that VEGF expression levels are associated with hTERT expressions and telomerase activity in HPV-positive cervical cancer tissues and cells. Knockdown of hTERT expression down-regulated VEGF expressions, whereas overexpression of hTERT up-regulated VEGF expressions in HPV-18-positive Hela cells. Furthermore, HPV E7 oncoprotein was necessary for hTERT to up-regulate VEGF expressions in HPV-negative cervical cancer cells. Data from this current study indicate that HPV oncoproteins up-regulated hTERT and telomerase activity and in turn promoted VEGF expressions, which could be a key mechanism for HPV-induced cervical cancer development and progression.
KeywordsCervical cancer HPV E7 Telomerase hTERT VEGF Transfection
This work was supported in part by a Grant from Jincheng People’s Hospital and Jincheng maternal and child health care hospital.
Conflict of interest
The authors declared that there is no conflict of interest in this work.
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