Systematic analysis of protein-protein interactions of oncogenic Human Papillomavirus
Gundurao, Ramya Mavinkaihalli
Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a ubiquitous virus implicated in a growing list of cancers, particularly cervical cancer‐ the second most common cancer among women worldwide. Although persistent infection with high‐risk oncogenic HPVs such as types ‐16 or ‐18 is necessary, additional factors like co‐infection with other viruses can play a role in cancer progression. Protein‐protein interactions play a central role in the infection, survival and proliferation of the virus in the host. Although some interactions of HPV proteins are well characterised, it is essential to discover other key viral interactions to further improve our understanding of the virus and to use this knowledge for the development of newer biomarkers and therapeutics. The aim of this study was to systematically analyse the interactions of HPV‐16 proteins using yeast two‐hybrid (Y2H). To achieve this, a clone collection of the viral proteome was generated by recombinatorial cloning and three independent Y2H screens were performed: (i) Intra‐viral screen to identify interactions among the HPV‐16 proteins; (ii) Inter‐viral screen to identify interactions with proteins of Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) which is suggested to be a co‐factor; and (iii) Virus‐host screen to identify novel cellular binding partners. The intra‐viral Y2H screen confirmed some of the previously known interactions and also identified binding of the E1 and E7 proteins. Deletion mutagenesis was performed to map the interaction domains to the amino‐terminal 92 amino acids of E1 and carboxy‐terminal CxxC domain of E7. Replication assays suggest a possible repression of E1‐mediated episomal replication by direct binding of E7. The inter‐viral Y2H screen identified interactions of HPV proteins with seventeen HSV‐1 proteins including transcriptional regulator ICP4 and neurovirulance factor ICP34.5. The biological relevance of these interactions in the context of co‐infection is discussed. The virus‐host screen performed against a human cDNA library identified 54 interactions, a subset of which was validated by biochemical pull‐down assays. The functional relevance of an interaction between E7 and a proto‐oncogene spermatogenic leucine zipper protein (SPZ1) was further investigated suggesting a role of SPZ1 in E7‐mediated cell proliferation. The work presented in this thesis identifies several novel interactions of HPV proteins. Future work will involve the in‐depth elucidation of biological relevance of these interactions. In particular, the interactions of E7 with E1 and SPZ1 are of great interest to improve our understanding of the life cycle and pathogenesis of the virus which can be applied for improved strategies of prevention and treatment of malignancies caused by HPV.