Expression of cytochrome P450 and microsomal epoxide hydrolase in cervical and oral epithelial cells immortalized by human papillomavirus type 16 E6/E7 genes

Federico M. Farin, Lenora G. Bigler, Dolphine Oda, James K. Mcdougall, Curtis J. Omiecinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Epidemiological evidence suggests that the presence of human papillomavinises (HPV), when combined with smoking behaviors, considerably enhances the risk of developing oral, cervical, vulvar, and/or anal carcinomas. It is well established that the cytochrome P450 (CYP), microsomal epoxide hydrolase (mEH), and other bio-transformation enzymes are important modulators of the bioactivation and detoxification of many environmental chemicals, including constituents of tobacco smoke such as certain nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Since there is little information regarding oral and cervical epithelial-specific expression of these genes, established primary and HPV-immortalized oral and cervical epithelial cell lines were analyzed for morphology, mRNA and protein expression patterns of specific CYPs and m£H. Primary human oral and cervical epithelial cells were immortalized using retroviral infection with HPV-16 E6/E7 genes. Primary human keratinocyte cells were immortalized by transfection of HPV-18 and made tumorig-enic with nitrosomethylurea treatment Expression profiles for mEH, CYP1A1, CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2B6, CYP2D6, CYP3A, and CYP2E1 were evaluated in these cultures in the presence or absence of a PAH inducer, using reverse transcriptase-coupled polymerase chain reaction analysis. mEH gene expression was evident in all cultures, while CYP2A6 mRNA was not detected in any of the cell lines, regardless of culture conditions. CYP2E1 mRNA expression was greatest in the oral epithelial cultures and detectable in all other epithelial cultures except for the HPV-18 immortalized keratinocyte cell line. Elevated levels of CYP2D6 mRNA existed in both oral epithelial cell lines and the HPV-16 immortalized cervical epithelial cells when compared to the other cell lines examined. CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 mRNAs were detected in all the cells and several cultures were inducible by PAH exposure. To corroborate the RT/PCR data, Western immunoblotting experiments were conducted on selected samples. Using these methods, CYP1A1 and CYP2E1 proteins were detected in primary and HPV-immortalized oral and cervical epithelial cultures. These data indicate that both primary and HPV immortalized cells appear to express certain biotransformation enzymes necessary for the activation of tobacco-specific nitrosamines and PAHs. Although the overall impact of HPV gene infection on expression of these systems remains to be fully elucidated, an in vitro system is characterized which should prove useful in examining interactive mechanisms of HPV with xenobiotic activation in the etiology of squamoucus cell carcinomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1391-1401
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cancer Research


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