Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play diverse roles in biological processes, but their expression profiles and functions in cervical carcinogenesis remain unknown. By RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) analyses of 18 clinical specimens and selective validation by RT-qPCR analyses of 72 clinical samples, we provide evidence that, relative to normal cervical tissues, 194 lncRNAs are differentially regulated in high-risk (HR)-HPV infection along with cervical lesion progression. One such lncRNA, lnc-FANCI-2, is extensively characterized because it is expressed from a genomic locus adjacent to the FANCI gene encoding an important DNA repair factor. Both genes are up-regulated in HPV lesions and in in vitro model systems of HR-HPV18 infection. We observe a moderate reciprocal regulation of lnc-FANCI-2 and FANCI in cervical cancer CaSki cells. In these cells, lnc-FANCI-2 is transcribed from two alternative promoters, alternatively spliced, and polyadenylated at one of two alternative poly(A) sites. About 10 copies of lnc-FANCI-2 per cell are detected preferentially in the cytoplasm. Mechanistically, HR-HPVs, but not low-risk (LR)-HPV oncogenes induce lnc-FANCI-2 in primary and immortalized human keratinocytes. The induction is mediated primarily by E7, and to a lesser extent by E6, mostly independent of p53/E6AP and pRb/E2F. We show that YY1 interacts with an E7 CR3 core motif and transactivates the promoter of lnc-FANCI-2 by binding to two critical YY1-binding motifs. Moreover, HPV18 increases YY1 expression by reducing miR-29a, which targets the 3' untranslated region of YY1 mRNA. These data have provided insights into the mechanisms of how HR-HPV infections contribute to cervical carcinogenesis.
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 13 Jan 2021|