We have recently identified E6TP1 (E6-targeted protein 1) as a novel high-risk human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) E6-binding protein. Importantly, mutational analysis of E6 revealed a strong correlation between the transforming activity and its abilities to bind and target E6TP1 for ubiquitin-mediated degradation. As a region within E6TP1 has high homology with GAP domains of known and putative Rap GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs), these results raised the possibility that HPV E6 may alter the Rap small-G-protein signaling pathway. Using two different approaches, we now demonstrate that human E6TP1 exhibits GAP activity for Rap1 and Rap2, confirming recent findings that a closely related rat homologue exhibits Rap-specific GAP activity. Using mutational analysis, we localize the GAP activity to residues 240 to 945 of E6TP1. Significantly, we demonstrate that coexpression of HPV16 E6, by promoting the degradation of E6TP1, enhances the GTP loading of Rap. These results support a role of Rap small-G-protein pathway in E6-mediated oncogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science