Skip to main content
Presentation Time: 2:45-3:05
Home University: Spelman College
Research Mentor: Michelle Mac, Microbiology and Immunology
Program: M&I-HBCU SROP
Research Title: Epigenetic Regulation of the HPV Viral Life Cycle

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common viral sexually transmitted disease with the lifetime risk of contraction reaching over 80%. High-risk HPV types have been 09` with promoting cervical cancer as well as head and neck cancers. ​​HPVs are non-enveloped, small double-stranded DNA viruses with histone-associated genomes that infect the basal keratinocytes of the stratified epithelium. HPV viral DNA is established within the nucleus of the cell as episomes, then the viral genome is replicated and passed on to daughter cells. Because the HPV viral genome is histone-associated, there is an interest in how epigenetic regulation affects its viral life cycle. Epigenetic regulator SETD2 facilitates the repair of double-strand breaks (DSB) through trimethylation of H3k36me3 that allows LEDGF to bind to H3k36me3 and promote DSB resection. In response to DNA damage, LEDGF recruits the C-terminal-binding protein interacting protein (CtIP) nuclease, which promotes the resection of DSBs by binding to Rad51. The current study was designed to identify whether, CtIP, is needed for productive viral DNA replication by evaluating the effect of a knockdown of CtIP specific shRNA. It is hypothesized that the knockdown of CtIP will lead to reduced viral replication of HPV31+ cells.