The E5 protein of human papillomavirus type 16 is a small, hydrophobic protein that localizes predominantly to membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). To define the orientation of E5 in these membranes, we employed a differential, detergent permeabilization technique that makes use of the ability of low concentrations of digitonin to selectively permeabilize the plasma membrane and saponin to permeabilize all cellular membranes. We then generated a biologically active E5 protein that was epitope tagged at both its N and C termini and determined the accessibility of these termini to antibodies in the presence and absence of detergents. In both COS cells and human ectocervical cells, the C terminus of E5 was exposed to the cytoplasm, whereas the N terminus was restricted to the lumen of the ER. Finally, the deletion of the E5 third transmembrane domain (and terminal hydrophilic amino acids) resulted in a protein with its C terminus in the ER lumen. Taken together, these topology findings are compatible with a model of E5 being a 3-pass transmembrane protein and with studies demonstrating its C terminus interacting with cytoplasmic proteins. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Krawczyk, E., Suprynowicz, F. A., Sudarshan, S. R., & Schlegel, R. (2010). Membrane Orientation of the Human Papillomavirus Type 16 E5 Oncoprotein. Journal of Virology, 84(4), 1696–1703. https://doi.org/10.1128/jvi.01968-09