Long-distance communication: Looping of human papillomavirus genomes regulates expression of viral oncogenes

by Adityarup Chakravorty, Bill Sugden

High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are a major cause of cancers. HPVs infect epithelial cells, and viral oncogenes disrupt several cellular processes, including cell division, differentiation, and apoptosis. Expression of these oncogenes is relatively low in undifferentiated epithelial cells but increases in differentiating cells by unknown mechanisms. In a new study, Parish and colleagues unveil how two cellular proteins, CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) and Yin Yang 1 (YY1), mediate looping of the HPV18 genome, which regulates expression of viral oncogenes in both dividing and differentiating epithelial cells.

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