Kinase requirements in human cells: II. Genetic interaction screens identify kinase requirements following HPV16 E7 expression in cancer cells

Amy Baldwin, Wenliang Li, Miranda Grace, Joseph Pearlberg, Ed Harlow, Karl Münger, Dorre A. Grueneberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


Human papillomavirus (HPV) oncoproteins subvert cellular signaling pathways, including kinase pathways, during the carcinogenic process. To identify kinases targeted by the HPV16 E7 oncoprotein, shRNA kinase screens were performed in RKO colorectal carcinoma cell lines that differ only in their expression of HPV16 E7. Our screens identified kinases that were essential for the survival of RKO cells, but not essential for RKO cells expressing HPV16 E7. These kinases include CDK6, ERBB3, FYN, AAK1, and TSSK2. We show that, as predicted, CDK6 knockdown inhibits pRb phosphorylation and induces S-phase depletion, thereby inhibiting cell viability. Knockdown of ERBB3, FYN, AAK1, and TSSK2 induces a similar loss of cell viability through an unknown mechanism. Expression of the HPV16 E7 oncoprotein, known to bind and degrade pRb, relieves the requirement of these kinases. These studies demonstate that expression of a single oncoprotein can dramatically alter kinase sensitivity in human cells. The shRNA screens used here perform analogously to genetic interaction screens commonly used in genetically tractable organisms such as yeast, and thus represent an exciting method for unbiased identification of cellular signaling pathways targeted by cancer mutations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16478-16483
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 28 2008
Externally publishedYes



  • E7 oncoprotein
  • Essential kinases
  • Retinoblastoma tumor suppressor
  • shRNA screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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