Recent study from Trieste on HPV may shed light on neurological disease

"HPV-16, HPV-18 and HPV-31 E6 override the normal phospho-regulation of E6AP enzymatic activity.," an article by Dr. Lawrence Banks, has been accepted in Journal of Virology (JVI). 

Human Papillomaviruses are major causes of cancer, with cervical cancer being the most important. How the virus induces cancer is still a major question. This study focuses on understanding a key step in the whole process, which is the interaction between a viral protein responsible for driving tumour development E6, and a cellular enzyme, E6AP.

Recent studies have shown that alteration of E6AP functions are linked to the development of neurological disorders, including possibly autism. However in this study we show that in cervical cancer E6 completely overrides the normal cellular regulation of E6AP, thereby allowing E6 to constitutively target many other cell regulatory pathways. This has major implications for our understanding of how HPV causes cancer, but also sheds further light on the normal regulation and functions of E6AP, which might also be relevant in understanding the molecular basis behind the development of certain neurological diseases, possibly including autism and Angelman syndrome.

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