Peter Angeletti
Peter Angeletti
Associate Professor

Ph.D. University of Alabama-Birmingham, 1997
        (Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics)
M.S. Illinois State University, 1992
B.S. University of California-Los Angeles, 1989
        (Biology & Psychology)
Contact Information
237 Morrison Center




Research Interests

My research is focused on DNA replication and maintenance of Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) which infect the stratified epithelium of the genital tract. There are currently 20 million Americans infected with genital HPVs with 5.5 million new infections reported each year. While all genital HPVs possess the ability to induce benign warts, the high-risk HPVs (Types 16, 18, and 31 for example) are associated with an increased likelihood for progression of lesions to malignant cancer.

In their normal life cycle, HPVs exist as low-copy nuclear plasmids in the host basal epithelium where they can be maintained indefinitely. The viral life cycle is tightly linked to the differentiation program of the stratified epithelium, such that viral genome amplification only occurs in differentiated cells. Viral trans-acting factors, E1 and E2, play an important role in replication; E1, a helicase, recruits polymerase alpha to the origin of replication, while E2 acts cooperatively by binding and recruiting E1 to the origin of replication. E2 functions in two other important ways; by inducing transcription of viral genes, and by improving the inheritance of newly synthesized viral genomes to daughter cells. It is thought that E2 performs this function by tethering viral genomes to mitotic chromosomes, thus allowing accurate partitioning.

A major area of interest for my lab is the study of cis and trans-acting signals that control replication and maintenance of HPV genomes. We are currently investigating the role of E1 and E2 proteins in long-term replication during the viral lifecycle. We are also interested in determining the extent to which cellular factors influence stable replication of HPVs through the long control region (LCR).

In order to approach these studies, in addition to standard human cell culture, we are using a novel yeast-based system, which allows stable episomal replication of full-length HPV genomes (Angeletti et al. 2002 and Kim et al. 2005). The yeast/HPV system is powerful since it allows modeling of several HPV functions, including replication, transcription, and encapsidation. It provides a convenient means to assess the cis and trans-acting functions required for replication HPVs, as well as superior yeast genetic tools to determine the involvement of cellular genes in various viral functions. Using this system we are also currently investigating the physical parameters of HPV encapsidation (Angeletti, Methods in Molecular Medicine, 2005). Specifically, we are interested in how the viral factors E2 and L2 function in virion assembly and how they effect infectivity.

Another emerging interest of the lab is the investigation of HPV strains found in HIV positive patients in the sub-Saharan country of Zambia. In these studies we are investigating the prevalence of high-risk HPVs in Zambian patients and how HIV status and CD4 counts influence HPV-related disease; genital warts and dysplasias.


Recent Publications

In Preparation:

1. Hughes, W., Dake, B.T. and Angeletti, P. C. HPV L1 and L2 Capsid Proteins Contain Protein J-like Domains that Mediate DNA Interactions.

In Print:

1. Rogers, A., Waltke, M., and Angeletti, P. C. Evolutionary Variation of HPV E2 Protein and E2 Binding Sites. Virology J. 2011, 8:379, Aug (2011).

2. Lei, Y. Makhoala, K. Pittyakhajonwut, D. Wood, C., and Angeletti P. C. Human Papillomavirus 16 variants from Zambian women with normal pap smears. J. Med Virol. ul;83(7):1230-7 (2011)

3. Hu, L., Potapova, T.A., Li, S. Rankin, S., ; Gorbsky, G.J., Angeletti, P.C. and Ceresa, B. Expression of HPV16 E5 Produces Enlarged Nuclei and Polyploidy through Endoreplication. Virology (2010).

4. Pittayakhajonwut D and Angeletti P.C. . Viral trans-factor independent replication of human papillomavirus genomes. Virol J. Jun 10;7(1):123 (2010).

5. Hu L, Plafker K, Vorozhko V, Zuna RE, Hanigan MH, Gorbsky GJ, Plafker SM, Angeletti PC, Ceresa BP. Human papillomavirus 16 E5 induces bi-nucleated cell formation by cell-cell fusion. Virology Feb 5;384(1):125-34. (2009).

6. Lowe, J. J., Panda, D., Rose, S., Jenson, T., Tso, F. Hughes, W. A. and Angeletti, P. C. Evolutionary and Structural Analysis of Alpha Papillomavirus Capsid Proteins Yields Insights into L2 Structure and Interaction with L1. Virology Journal Dec 17;5(1):150 (2008)

7. Rogers, A., Loggen, M., Lee, K. and Angeletti P. C. Varying efficiency of long-term replication of papillomaviruses in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Virology Nov 10;381(1):6-10. (2008).

8. Pittyakhajonwut, D. and Angeletti, P. C. Analysis of cis-elements that facilitate extrachromasol persistence of human papillomaviruses. Virology, 374, 304-314 (2008).

9. Angeletti, P. C., Zhang, L., and Wood C. The Viral Etiology of HIV-associated Malignancies. HIV-1: Molecular Biology and Pathogenesis. Editor: Kuan-Teh Jeang, Elsevier. 56:509-557. (2007).

10. Ng’andwe C., Lowe J. J., Richards, P. J., Hause, L. L., Wood, C. and Angeletti, P. C. The distribution of sexually transmitted human papillomaviruses among HIV positive and negative populations in Zambia, Africa. Infectious Diseases. July 16:7(1):77 (2007).

11. Vaeteewoottacharn, K., Chamutpong, S., Ponglikitmongkol, M. and Angeletti, P. C. Differential localization of HPV16 E6 splice products with E6-associated protein. Virology Journal 2:50 247-260 (2005).

12. Angeletti, P. C. Replication and encapsidation of papillomaviruses in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Human Papillomaviruses: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Medicine. Editor Doorbar, J., Humana Press, Totowa, NJ. Vol. 50 (2005).

13. Kim, K., Angeletti, P. C., Hassebroek, E. C. and Lambert, P. F. Identification of cis-acting elements that mediate the replication and maintenance of human papillomavirus type 16 genomes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Journal of Virology 79, 5933-5942 (2005).

14. Joung, I., Angeletti P. C. and Engler, J. A. Functional implications in apoptosis by interferon inducible gene product 1-8D, the binding protein to adenovirus preterminal protein The Journal of Microbiology, 41, 295-299. (2003).

15. Angeletti, P. C., Kim, K., Fernandes, F. J. and Lambert, P. F. Stable replication of papillomavirus genomes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Journal of Virology 76, 3350-3358 (2002).

16. Angeletti, P. C., Walker, D., and Panganiban, A. T. Small glutamine-rich protein/Viral protein U-binding protein is a novel co-chaperone that affects Hsp70 activity. Cell Stress and Chaperones 7, 258-268 (2002).

17. Angeletti, P. C. and Engler, J. A. Adenovirus preterminal protein binds to the CAD enzyme at active sites of viral replication on the nuclear matrix. Journal of Virology 72, 2896-2904 (1998).

18. Sanchez, V., Angeletti, P. C., Engler, J. A., and Britt, W. J. Localization of human cytomegalovirus structural proteins to the nuclear matrix of infected human fibroblasts. Journal of Virology 72, 3321-3329 (1998).

19. Angeletti, P. C., and Engler, J. A. Tyrosine kinase-dependent release of an Adenovirus preterminal protein complex from the nuclear matrix. Journal of Virology 70, 3060-3067 (1996).

20. Lucher, L. A., Kuntirat, B., Chowrira, B., Zhao, J., and Angeletti, P. C. Altered synthesis of adenovirus 12 DNA-binding protein but not DNA polymerase during abortive infection of hamster cells. Virology 189, 187-195 (1992).