Replication of the human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA genome relies on viral factors E1 and E2 and the cellular replication machinery. Bromodomain-containing protein 4 (Brd4) interacts with viral E2 protein to mediate papillomavirus (PV) genome maintenance and viral transcription. However, the functional role of Brd4 in the HPV life cycle remains to be clearly defined. In this study, we provide the first look into the E2-Brd4 interaction in the presence of other important viral factors, such as the HPV16 E1 protein and the viral genome. We show that Brd4 is recruited to actively replicating HPV16 origin foci together with HPV16 E1, E2, and a number of the cellular replication factors: replication protein A70 (RPA70), replication factor C1 (RFC1), and DNA polymerase δ. Mutagenesis disrupting the E2-Brd4 interaction abolishes the formation of the HPV16 replication complex and impairs HPV16 DNA replication in cells. Brd4 was further demonstrated to be necessary for HPV16 viral DNA replication using a cell-free replication system in which depletion of Brd4 by small interfering RNA (siRNA) silencing leads to impaired HPV16 viral DNA replication and recombinant Brd4 protein is able to rescue viral DNA replication. In addition, releasing endogenous Brd4 from cellular chromatin by using the bromodomain inhibitor JQ1(+) enhances HPV16 DNA replication, demonstrating that the role of Brd4 in HPV DNA replication could be uncoupled from its function in chromatin-associated transcriptional regulation and cell cycle control. Our study reveals a new role for Brd4 in HPV genome replication, providing novel insights into understanding the life cycle of this oncogenic DNA virus.
Wang, X., Helfer, C. M., Pancholi, N., Bradner, J. E., & You, J. (2013). Recruitment of Brd4 to the Human Papillomavirus Type 16 DNA Replication Complex Is Essential for Replication of Viral DNA. Journal of Virology, 87(7), 3871–3884. https://doi.org/10.1128/jvi.03068-12