Published in Volume
101, Issue 8
(April 15, 1998)J Clin Invest.
1998, The American Society for
The HPV-activating cellular transcription factor Brn-3a is overexpressed in CIN3 cervical lesions.
Windeyer Institute of Medical Sciences, University College London Medical School, The Windeyer Building, Cleveland Street, London W1P 6DB, United Kingdom.
Published April 15, 1998
The cervical cellular transcription factors Brn-3a and Brn-3b have antagonistic effects on transcription of the human papilloma virus types 16 and 18 E6 and E7 oncogenes, with Brn-3a activating expression and Brn-3b repressing it. We therefore measured expression of Brn-3a and Brn-3b mRNAs in biopsies from 16 women with no detectable cervical abnormality, and in 14 women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 (CIN3) lesions. Although the mean level of Brn-3b expression was similar in both groups, the mean level of Brn-3a expression was over 300-fold higher in the CIN3 samples when compared with normals. Elevated expression of Brn-3a was also detected in 16 histologically normal regions of the cervix adjacent to the CIN3 lesions, indicating that elevation of Brn-3a levels is not confined to the lesion in women with CIN3, and is thus not a consequence of the oncogenic process. The elevated levels of Brn-3a in the CIN3 patient samples, together with the activating effect of Brn-3a on HPV-16 and -18 oncogene expression, suggest that induction of this factor is involved in activating HPV-16 and -18 oncogene expression in the cervix, and hence in the production of cervical cancers induced by HPV.