Interaction of the human papillomavirus E6 oncoprotein with sorting nexin 27 modulates endocytic cargo transport pathways

Ketaki Ganti, Paola Massimi, Joaquin Manzo-Merino, Vjekoslav Tomaic, David Pim, Martin Playford, Marcela Lizano, Sally Roberts, Christian Kranjec, John Doorbar, Lawrence Banks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


A subset of high-risk Human Papillomaviruses (HPVs) are the causative agents of a large number of human cancers, of which cervical is the most common. Two viral oncoproteins, E6 and E7, contribute directly towards the development and maintenance of malignancy. A characteristic feature of the E6 oncoproteins from cancer-causing HPV types is the presence of a PDZ binding motif (PBM) at its C-terminus, which confers interaction with cellular proteins harbouring PDZ domains. Here we show that this motif allows E6 interaction with Sorting Nexin 27 (SNX27), an essential component of endosomal recycling pathways. This interaction is highly conserved across E6 proteins from multiple high-risk HPV types and is mediated by a classical PBM-PDZ interaction, but unlike many E6 targets, SNX27 is not targeted for degradation by E6. Rather, in HPV-18 positive cell lines the association of SNX27 with components of the retromer complex and the endocytic transport machinery is altered in an E6 PBM-dependent manner. Analysis of a SNX27 cargo, the glucose transporter GLUT1, reveals an E6-dependent maintenance of GLUT1 expression and alteration in its association with components of the endocytic transport machinery. Furthermore, knockdown of E6 in HPV-18 positive cervical cancer cells phenocopies the loss of SNX27, both in terms of GLUT1 expression levels and its vesicular localization, with a concomitant marked reduction in glucose uptake, whilst loss of SNX27 results in slower cell proliferation in low nutrient conditions. These results demonstrate that E6 interaction with SNX27 can alter the recycling of cargo molecules, one consequence of which is modulation of nutrient availability in HPV transformed tumour cells.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalPLoS pathogens
Early online date20 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2016


  • HPV
  • E6
  • SNX27
  • retromer


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