The Role of RNA Splicing Factors in Cancer: Regulation of Viral and Human Gene Expression in Human Papillomavirus-Related Cervical Cancer

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Abstract

The spliceosomal complex components, together with the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) and serine/arginine-rich (SR) proteins, regulate the process of constitutive and alternative splicing, the latter leading to the production of mRNA isoforms coding multiple proteins from a single pre-mRNA molecule. The expression of splicing factors is frequently deregulated in different cancer types causing the generation of oncogenic proteins involved in cancer hallmarks. Cervical cancer is caused by persistent infection with oncogenic human papillomaviruses (HPVs) and constitutive expression of viral oncogenes. The aberrant activity of hnRNPs and SR proteins in cervical neoplasia has been shown to trigger the production of oncoproteins through the processing of pre-mRNA transcripts either derived from human genes or HPV genomes. Indeed, hnRNP and SR splicing factors have been shown to regulate the production of viral oncoprotein isoforms necessary for the completion of viral life cycle and for cell transformation. Target-therapy strategies against hnRNPs and SR proteins, causing simultaneous reduction of oncogenic factors and inhibition of HPV replication, are under development. In this review, we describe the current knowledge of the functional link between RNA splicing factors and deregulated cellular as well as viral RNA maturation in cervical cancer and the opportunity of new therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number474
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 12 2020

Keywords

  • cervical cancer
  • heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs)
  • human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • RNA
  • serine/arginine-rich proteins (SR)
  • splicing factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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