The papillomavirus E2 protein plays an important role in viral transcriptional regulation and replication. We chose to study the cottontail rabbit papillomavirus (CRPV) E2 protein as a transcriptional regulator because of the availability of an animal model for papiloma formation, which may be relevant for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and replication. We studied the effect of expression levels of E2 on the long control region, which contains transcriptional promoter and enhancer elements, and synthetic E2-dependent artificial promoters in which the E2 was the dominant factor in the transcriptional activation. These experiments indicated that high levels of E2 were inhibitory and low levels were stimulatory for transactivation. In addition, we showed that the complex formed between CRPV E2 and the cognate binding site was less stable than the complex formed between HPV E2 and the same cognate binding site. Furthermore, we showed that CRPV E2 binding to its transcriptional regulatory sequence was stabilized by other proteins such as El, which produced increments in transcriptional activation of E2-dependent genes. The data may be used to define conditions in which the rabbit model can be used for the screening of drugs which are inhibitory to the HPV and CRPV replication and gene expression.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes