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      GRIM-19 Disrupts E6/E6AP Complex to Rescue p53 and Induce Apoptosis in Cervical Cancers

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          Our previous studies showed a down-regulation of GRIM-19 in primary human cervical cancers, and restoration of GRIM-19 induced tumor regression. The induction of tumor suppressor protein p53 ubiquitination and degradation by E6 oncoportein of high risk-HPV through forming a stable complex with E6AP is considered as a critical mechanism for cervical tumor development. The aims of this study were to determine the potential role of GRIM-19 in rescuing p53 protein and inducing cervical cancer cell apoptosis.

          Methodology/Principal Findings

          The protein levels of GRIM-19 and p53 were detected in normal cervical tissues from 45 patients who underwent hysterectomy for reasons other than neoplasias of either the cervix or endometrium, and cervical cancer tissues from 60 patients with non-metastatic squamous epithelial carcinomas. Coimmunoprecipitation and GST pull-down assay were performed to examine the interaction of GRIM-19 with 18E6 and E6AP in vivo and in vitro respectively. The competition of 18E6 with E6AP in binding GRIM-19 by performing competition pull-down assays was designed to examine the disruption of E6/E6AP complex by GRIM-19. The augment of E6AP ubiquitination by GRIM-19 was detected in vivo and in vitro ubiquitination assay. The effects of GRIM-19-dependent p53 accumulation on cell proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis were explored by MTT, flow cytometry and transmission electron microscopy respectively. The tumor suppression was detected by xenograft mouse model.


          The levels of GRIM-19 and p53 were concurrently down regulated in cervical cancers. The restoration of GRIM-19 can induce ubiquitination and degradation of E6AP, and disrupt the E6/E6AP complex through the interaction of N-terminus of GRIM-19 with both E6 and E6AP, which protected p53 from degradation and promoted cell apoptosis. Tumor xenograft studies also revealed the suppression of p53 degradation in presence of GRIM-19. These data suggest that GRIM-19 can block E6/E6AP complex; and synergistically suppress cervical tumor growth with p53.

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          Most cited references 60

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          Human papillomavirus is a necessary cause of invasive cervical cancer worldwide.

          A recent report that 93 per cent of invasive cervical cancers worldwide contain human papillomavirus (HPV) may be an underestimate, due to sample inadequacy or integration events affecting the HPV L1 gene, which is the target of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based test which was used. The formerly HPV-negative cases from this study have therefore been reanalyzed for HPV serum antibodies and HPV DNA. Serology for HPV 16 VLPs, E6, and E7 antibodies was performed on 49 of the 66 cases which were HPV-negative and a sample of 48 of the 866 cases which were HPV-positive in the original study. Moreover, 55 of the 66 formerly HPV-negative biopsies were also reanalyzed by a sandwich procedure in which the outer sections in a series of sections are used for histological review, while the inner sections are assayed by three different HPV PCR assays targeting different open reading frames (ORFs). No significant difference was found in serology for HPV 16 proteins between the cases that were originally HPV PCR-negative and -positive. Type-specific E7 PCR for 14 high-risk HPV types detected HPV DNA in 38 (69 per cent) of the 55 originally HPV-negative and amplifiable specimens. The HPV types detected were 16, 18, 31, 33, 39, 45, 52, and 58. Two (4 per cent) additional cases were only HPV DNA-positive by E1 and/or L1 consensus PCR. Histological analysis of the 55 specimens revealed that 21 were qualitatively inadequate. Only two of the 34 adequate samples were HPV-negative on all PCR tests, as against 13 of the 21 that were inadequate ( p< 0.001). Combining the data from this and the previous study and excluding inadequate specimens, the worldwide HPV prevalence in cervical carcinomas is 99.7 per cent. The presence of HPV in virtually all cervical cancers implies the highest worldwide attributable fraction so far reported for a specific cause of any major human cancer. The extreme rarity of HPV-negative cancers reinforces the rationale for HPV testing in addition to, or even instead of, cervical cytology in routine cervical screening. Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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            The E6 oncoprotein encoded by human papillomavirus types 16 and 18 promotes the degradation of p53.

            The E6 protein encoded by the oncogenic human papillomavirus types 16 and 18 is one of two viral products expressed in HPV-associated cancers. E6 is an oncoprotein which cooperates with E7 to immortalize primary human keratinocytes. Insight into the mechanism by which E6 functions in oncogenesis is provided by the observation that the E6 protein encoded by HPV-16 and HPV-18 can complex the wild-type p53 protein in vitro. Wild-type p53 gene has tumor suppressor properties, and is a target for several of the oncoproteins encoded by DNA tumor viruses. In this study we demonstrate that the E6 proteins of the oncogenic HPVs that bind p53 stimulate the degradation of p53. The E6-promoted degradation of p53 is ATP dependent and involves the ubiquitin-dependent protease system. Selective degradation of cellular proteins such as p53 with negative regulatory functions provides a novel mechanism of action for dominant-acting oncoproteins.
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              Human papillomavirus oncoproteins: pathways to transformation.

              An association between human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and the development of cervical cancer was initially reported over 30 years ago, and today there is overwhelming evidence that certain subtypes of HPV are the causative agents of these malignancies. The p53 and retinoblastoma proteins are well-characterized targets of the HPV E6 and E7 oncoproteins, but recent studies have shown that the alteration of additional pathways are equally important for transformation. These additional factors are crucial regulators of cell cycle progression, telomere maintenance, apoptosis and chromosomal stability. Understanding how HPV oncoproteins modify these activities provides novel insights into the basic mechanisms of oncogenesis.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Anhui Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, The People's Republic of China
                [2 ]Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, The People's Republic of China
                [3 ]Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Greenebaum Cancer Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
                [4 ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, The People's Republic of China
                Cornell University, United States of America
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: YZ WHX BL. Performed the experiments: YZ YW JZ QYW LB YM YC AJZ. Analyzed the data: YZ DQF WHX. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: JS KS SCN. Wrote the paper: YZ WHX DVK BL.

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                12 July 2011
                : 6
                : 7
                Zhou et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Pages: 12
                Research Article
                Obstetrics and Gynecology
                Gynecologic Cancers
                Cancer Treatment
                Gene Therapy
                Basic Cancer Research
                Women's Health



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