Influence of physiologic folate deficiency on human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16)-harboring human keratinocytes in vitro and in vivo

Suhong Xiao, Ying Sheng Tang, Rehana A. Khan, Yonghua Zhang, Praveen Kusumanchi, Sally P. Stabler, Hiremagalur N. Jayaram, Asók C. Antony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Although HPV16 transforms infected epithelial tissues to cancer in the presence of several co-factors, there is insufficient molecular evidence that poor nutrition has any such role. Because physiological folate deficiency led to the intracellular homocysteinylation of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein E1 (hnRNP-E1) and activated a nutrition-sensitive (homocysteine- responsive) posttranscriptional RNA operon that included interaction with HPV16 L2 mRNA, we investigated the functional consequences of folate deficiency on HPV16 in immortalized HPV16-harboring human (BC-1-Ep/SL) keratinocytes and HPV16-organotypic rafts. Although homocysteinylated hnRNP-E1 interacted with HPV16 L2 mRNA cis-element, it also specifically bound another HPV16 57-nucleotide poly(U)-rich cis-element in the early polyadenylation element (upstream of L2∧L1 genes) with greater affinity. Together, these interactions led to a profound reduction of both L1 and L2 mRNA and proteins without effects on HPV16 E6 and E7 in vitro, and in cultured keratinocyte monolayers and HPV16-low folate-organotypic rafts developed in physiological low folate medium. In addition, HPV16-low folate-organotypic rafts contained fewer HPV16 viral particles, a similar HPV16 DNA viral load, and a much greater extent of integration of HPV16 DNA into genomic DNA when compared with HPV16-high folateorganotypic rafts. Subcutaneous implantation of 18-day old HPV16-low folate-organotypic rafts into folate-replete immunodeficient mice transformed this benign keratinocyte-derived raft tissue into an aggressive HPV16-induced cancer within 12 weeks. Collectively, these studies establish a likely molecular linkage between poor folate nutrition and HPV16 and predict that nutritional folate and/or vitamin-B 12 deficiency, which are both common worldwide, will alter the natural history of HPV16 infections and also warrant serious consideration as reversible co-factors in oncogenic transformation of HPV16- infected tissues to cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12559-12577
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 6 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of physiologic folate deficiency on human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16)-harboring human keratinocytes in vitro and in vivo'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this