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Arch Virol. 2006 Dec;151(12):2321-35. Epub 2006 Jul 27.

Modulation of apoptosis by human papillomavirus (HPV) oncoproteins.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Center for Molecular Biology and Gene Therapy, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA.


The regulation of host-mediated apoptosis by the E6 and E7 oncoproteins has garnered attention because it is believed to be an important strategy employed by high-risk (HR)-human papillomaviruses (HPVs) to evade immune surveillance. Additionally, the revelation that E5 can protect cells from tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-mediated apoptosis suggests that it may also play a role in undermining host defense mechanisms. Cellular transformation is an unintended consequence of persistent infection by HR-HPVs, and it is therefore likely that the primary function of E5, E6 and E7 is to regulate cell survival throughout the normal viral life cycle in order to ensure viral replication and promote the spread of progeny. The purpose of this article is to review the literature on the regulation of host-mediated apoptosis by E5, E6 and E7 that describes the mechanisms employed by HR-HPVs to persist in the host and create the conditions necessary for cellular transformation.

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