Diversity in Proprotein Convertase Reactivity among Human Papillomavirus Types

Gonzalo Izaguirre, Lam Minh Uyen Phan, Shaan Asif, Samina Alam, Craig Meyers, Lijun Rong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cleavage of viral surface proteins by furin is associated with some viruses’ high virulence and infectivity. The human papillomavirus (HPV) requires the proteolytic processing of its capsid proteins for activation before entry. Variability in reactivity with furin and other proprotein convertases (PCs) among HPV types was investigated. HPV16, the most prevalent and carcinogenic HPV type, reacted with PCs with the broadest selectivity compared to other types in reactions of pseudoviral particles with the recombinant PCs, furin, PC4, PC5, PACE4, and PC7. Proteolytic preactivation was assessed using a well-established entry assay into PC-inhibited cells based on the green fluorescent protein as a reporter. The inhibition of the target cell PC activity with serpin-based PC-selective inhibitors also showed a diversity of PC selectivity among HPV types. HPV16 reacted with furin at the highest rate compared to the other types in time-dependent preactivation reactions and produced the highest entry values standardized to pseudoviral particle concentration. The predominant expression of furin in keratinocytes and the high reactivity of HPV16 with this enzyme highlight the importance of selectively targeting furin as a potential antiviral therapeutic approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number39
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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