Multicellular organisms rely on complex networks of signaling cascades for development, homeostasis, and responses to the environment. These networks involve diffusible signaling molecules, their receptors, and a variety of downstream effectors. Alterations in the expression or function of any one of these factors can contribute to disease, including cancer. Many viruses have been implicated in cancer, and some of these modulate cellular signal transduction cascades to carry out their life cycles. High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs), the causative agents of most cervical and anogenital cancers, encode three oncogenes. One of these, E5, has been postulated to transform cells in tissue culture by modulating growth factor receptors. In this study, we generate and characterize transgenic mice in which the E5 gene of the most common high-risk HPV, HPV16, is targeted to the basal layer of the stratified squamous epithelium. In these mice, E5 alters the growth and differentiation of stratified epithelia and induces epithelial tumors at a high frequency. Through the analysis of these mice, we show a requirement of the epidermal growth factor receptor for the hyperplastic properties of E5.
- Receptor, Epidermal Growth FactorAllelesAnimalsCell DifferentiationCell Transformation, ViralDNAEpidermisEpithelial CellsErbB ReceptorsHumansHyperplasiaMiceMice, TransgenicOncogene Proteins, ViralPapillomaviridaePromoter Regions, GeneticSignal TransductionSkinSkin Neoplasms