Previous studies in our laboratory discovered that SIX1 mRNA expression increased during in vitro progression of HPV16-immortalized human keratinocytes (HKc/HPV16) toward a differentiation-resistant (HKc/DR) phenotype. In this study, we explored the role of Six1 at early stages of HPV16-mediated transformation by overexpressing Six1 in HKc/HPV16. We found that Six1 overexpression in HKc/HPV16 increased cell proliferation and promoted cell migration and invasion by inducing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Moreover, the overexpression of Six1 in HKc/HPV16 resulted in resistance to serum and calcium-induced differentiation, which is the hallmark of the HKc/DR phenotype. Activation of MAPK in HKc/HPV16 overexpressing Six1 is linked to resistance to calcium-induced differentiation. In conclusion, this study determined that Six1 overexpression resulted in differentiation resistance and promoted EMT at early stages of HPV16-mediated transformation of human keratinocytes.
Xu, H., Pirisi, L., & Creek, K. E. (2015). Six1 overexpression at early stages of HPV16-mediated transformation of human keratinocytes promotes differentiation resistance and EMT. Virology, 474, 144–153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2014.10.010