PI3K/AKT/mTOR Signaling Regulates the Virus/Host Cell Crosstalk in HPV-Positive Cervical Cancer Cells
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Human papillomavirus (HPV)-induced cancers will remain a significant clinical challenge for decades. Thus, the development of novel treatment strategies is urgently required, which should benefit from improving our understanding of the mechanisms of HPV-induced cell transformation. This should also include analyses of hypoxic tumor cells, which represent a major problem for cancer therapy. Recent evidence indicates that the PI3K/AKT/mTOR network plays a key role for the virus/host cell
... /host cell crosstalk in both normoxic and hypoxic HPV-positive cancer cells. In normoxic cells, the efficacy of the senescence induction upon experimental E6/E7 repression depends on active mTORC1 signaling. Under hypoxia, however, HPV-positive cancer cells can evade senescence due to hypoxic impairment of mTORC1 signaling, albeit the cells strongly downregulate E6/E7. Hypoxic repression of E6/E7 is mediated by the AKT kinase, which is activated under hypoxia by its canonical upstream regulators mTORC2 and PI3K. This review highlights our current knowledge about the oxygen-dependent crosstalk of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling circuit with the HPV oncogenes and the phenotypic state of the host cell. Moreover, since the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway is considered to be a promising target for anticancer therapy, we discuss clinical implications for the treatment of HPV-positive cervical and head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.