Romero-Medina, MC and Venuti, A and Melita, G and Robitaille, A andCeraolo, MG and Pacini, L and Sirand, C and Viarisio, D and Taverniti, Vand Gupta, P and Scalise, M and Indiveri, C and Accardi, R and Tommasino, M
Tumor suppressors can exert pro-proliferation functions in specific contexts. In the beta human papillomavirus type 38 (HPV38) experimental model, the viral proteins E6 and E7 promote accumulation of a wild-type (WT) p53 form in human keratinocytes (HKs), promoting cellular proliferation. Inactivation of p53 by different means strongly decreases the proliferation of HPV38 E6/E7 HKs. This p53 form is phosphorylated at S392 by the double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase PKR, which is highly activated by HPV38. PKR-mediated S392 p53 phosphorylation promotes the formation of a p53/DNMT1 complex, which inhibits expression of integrin alpha 1 (ITGA1), a repressor of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling. Ectopic expression of ITGA1 in HPV38 E6/E7 HKs promotes EGFR degradation, inhibition of cellular proliferation, and cellular death. Itga1 expression was also inhibited in the skin of HPV38 transgenic mice that have an elevated susceptibility to UV-induced skin carcinogenesis. In summary, these findings reveal the existence of a specific WT p53 form that displays pro-proliferation properties.