Johansson C, Jamal Fattah T, Yu H, Nygren J, Mossberg AK, Schwartz S
We report that many histone modifications are unevenly distributed over the HPV16 genome in cervical cancer cells as well as in HPV16-immortalized keratinocytes. For example, H3K36me3 and H3K9Ac that are common in highly expressed cellular genes and over exons, were more common in the early than in the late region of the HPV16 genome. In contrast, H3K9me3, H4K20me3, H2BK5me1 and H4K16Ac were more frequent in the HPV16 late region. Furthermore, a region encompassing the HPV16 early polyadenylation signal pAE displayed high levels of histone H3 acetylation. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors caused a 2- to 8-fold induction of HPV16 early and late mRNAs in cervical cancer cells and in immortalized keratinocytes, while at the same time increasing the levels of acetylated histones in the cells and on the HPV16 genome specifically. We concluded that increased histone acetylation on the HPV16 genome correlates with increased HPV16 gene expression.