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Cervical Cytology and HPV Testing

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Mechanism for Transformation

Slide 3

March 2010

The mechanism for transformation from an infection with an HPV viral type to cervical cancer requires integration of the viral genome into the host genome. Two HPV genes are always conserved when the virus is integrated into the host genome - these are E6 and E7. At the same time, interestingly enough, there is a loss of E2 which normally regulates the transcription of both E6 and E7. Thus, you get an increase in the products from these 2 genes. E6 gene in the human genome inhibits p53.

This allows the cell to enter S phase without the normal DNA repair function. E7 binds the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene product (pRb) and again allows cells to proceed uninhibited through the S phase. This combination allows these cells to multiply without the normal regulation. And, interestingly enough, as you notice here, the E6 and E7 gene are viral genes and it's not a mutation of the host genome but actually integration of a different gene into the host genome which allows this transformation.

Mechanism for Transformation


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