Beta Human Papillomavirus 8E6 Attenuates Non-Homologous End Joining by Hindering DNA-PKcs Activity

Changkun Hu, Taylor Bugbee, Monica Gamez, Nicholas Wallace*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


Cutaneous viral infections occur in a background of near continual exposure to environmental genotoxins, like UV radiation in sunlight. Failure to repair damaged DNA is an established driver of tumorigenesis and substantial cellular resources are devoted to repairing DNA lesions. Beta-human papillomaviruses (β-HPVs) attenuate DNA repair signaling. However, their role in human disease is unclear. Some have proposed that β-HPV promotes tumorigenesis, while others suggest that β-HPV protects against skin cancer. Most of the molecular evidence that β-HPV impairs DNA repair has been gained via characterization of the E6 protein from β-HPV 8 (β-HPV 8E6). Moreover, β-HPV 8E6 hinders DNA repair by binding and destabilizing p300, a transcription factor for multiple DNA repair genes. By reducing p300 availability, β-HPV 8E6 attenuates a major double strand DNA break (DSB) repair pathway, homologous recombination. Here, β-HPV 8E6 impairs another DSB repair pathway, non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). Specifically, β-HPV 8E6 acts by attenuating DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) activity, a critical NHEJ kinase. This includes DNA-PK activation and the downstream of steps in the pathway associated with DNA-PK activity. Notably, β-HPV 8E6 inhibits NHEJ through p300 dependent and independent means. Together, these data expand the known genome destabilizing capabilities of β-HPV 8E6.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2356
Number of pages18
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2020


  • human papillomavirus
  • HPV
  • DNA repair
  • double strand breaks
  • non-homologous end joining


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