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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Aug 30;296(4):962-9.

Interaction of oncogenic papillomavirus E6 proteins with fibulin-1.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, LRB Room 323, 364 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 01605-2324, USA.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the primary risk factor for the development of cervical cancer. The papillomavirus E6 gene is essential for virus-induced cellular transformation and the viral life cycle. Important insight into the mechanism of E6 function came from the discovery that cancer-related HPV E6 proteins promote the degradation of the tumor suppressor p53. However, mounting evidence indicates that interaction with p53 does not mediate all E6 activities. To explore the p53-independent functions of E6, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen and identified fibulin-1 as an E6 binding protein. Fibulin-1 is a calcium-binding plasma and extracellular matrix protein that has been implicated in cellular transformation and tumor invasion. The interaction between E6 and fibulin-1 was demonstrated by both in vitro and in vivo assays. Fibulin-1 is associated specifically with cancer-related HPV E6s and the transforming bovine papillomavirus type 1 E6. Significantly, overexpression of fibulin-1 specifically inhibited E6-mediated transformation. These results suggest that fibulin-1 plays an important role in the biological activities of E6.

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