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Int J Oncol. 1998 Jul;13(1):5-9.

p73beta, unlike p53, suppresses growth and induces apoptosis of human papillomavirus E6-expressing cancer cells.

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Laboratory of Molecular Oncology and Cell Cycle Regulation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6148, USA.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the major cause of cervical cancer worldwide. HPV-E6 protein targets the p53 tumor suppressor protein for degradation by ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis making such cancers resistant to p53-gene therapy. Here we show that infection of human cancer cells by E6-expressing adenovirus (Ad-E6) leads to degradation of both wild-type or mutant p53 protein. Interestingly, the p53-homologue candidate tumor suppressor p73 is not degraded in Ad-E6 infected cancer cells. Wild-type p73beta and not wild-type p53 or mutant p73 is a potent inhibitor of cancer colony growth and inducer of apoptosis, despite HPV-E6 overexpression. The results suggest a novel strategy using p73beta in gene therapy of HPV-E6 expressing cancers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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