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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 612823, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/612823
Research Article

Disruption of HPV16-E7 by CRISPR/Cas System Induces Apoptosis and Growth Inhibition in HPV16 Positive Human Cervical Cancer Cells

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430030, China
2Cancer Biology Research Center, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430030, China
3Department of Neurology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430030, China

Received 30 April 2014; Accepted 15 June 2014; Published 20 July 2014

Academic Editor: Xin Ming

Copyright © 2014 Zheng Hu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

High-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) has been recognized as a major causative agent for cervical cancer. Upon HPV infection, early genes E6 and E7 play important roles in maintaining malignant phenotype of cervical cancer cells. By using clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats- (CRISPR-) associated protein system (CRISPR/Cas system), a widely used genome editing tool in many organisms, to target HPV16-E7 DNA in HPV positive cell lines, we showed for the first time that the HPV16-E7 single-guide RNA (sgRNA) guided CRISPR/Cas system could disrupt HPV16-E7 DNA at specific sites, inducing apoptosis and growth inhibition in HPV positive SiHa and Caski cells, but not in HPV negative C33A and HEK293 cells. Moreover, disruption of E7 DNA directly leads to downregulation of E7 protein and upregulation of tumor suppressor protein pRb. Therefore, our results suggest that HPV16-E7 gRNA guided CRISPR/Cas system might be used as a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cervical cancer.