Journal of virology

Productive replication of adeno-associated virus can occur in human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) episome-containing keratinocytes and is augmented by the HPV-16 E2 protein.

PMID 10729123


We used a sensitive assay to test whether an adeno-associated virus (AAV) productive replication cycle can occur in immortalized human keratinocytes carrying episomal human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) DNA. Following transfection with cloned AAV DNA, infectious AAV was produced, and the infectivity was blocked by anti-AAV antiserum. The HPV-16 E2 protein substantially increased the yield of AAV. Other HPV early proteins did not, in our experiments, show this ability. E2 has been shown to be able to affect p53 levels and to block cell cycle progression at mitosis. We tested the effect of changes in p53 expression on AAV replication and found that large differences in the level of p53 did not alter AAV DNA replication. In extension of this, we found that cellular help for AAV in response to stress was also independent of p53. To test if a mitotic block could trigger AAV DNA replication, we treated the cells with the mitotic inhibitor nocodazole. AAV DNA replication was stimulated by the presence of nocodazole in these and a number of other cell types tested. Yields of infectious virus, however, were not increased by this treatment. We conclude that the HPV-16 E2 protein stimulates AAV multiplication in these cells and propose that this occurs independently of the effects of E2 on p53 and cell cycle progression. Since the effect of E2 was not seen in keratinocytes lacking the HPV-16 episome, we suggest that E2 can help AAV by working in concert with other HPV-16 proteins.