A team of scientists from Cancer Science Institute of Singapore has uncovered new molecular interactions involved in the development of cervical cancer.
Proteins EDD1 and TIP60 were found to interact with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which cause cervical cancer in people.
EDD1 is an E3 eubiquitin ligase involved in degrading cellular proteins, TIP60 act as a tumor suppressor protein, both can be found in the human body.
The research team found that HPV E6 oncogene interacts with EDD1 to destabilize the TIP60 protein, which results in an increased tumorigenesis. Supporting experiments also revealed than an increase in cellular TIP60 levels could inhibits cancer cell growth.
Previous studies have implicated that both proteins play a role in cancer progression. However, their roles in viral-mediated cancers have not been analyzed in-depth.
This study is one of the few which explores the functional role of TIP60 in viral mediated cancers. It is also the first study that suggests EDD1 as a novel interacting partner of TIP60.
This finding advances the understanding of how this pathway could contribute to cancer progression not only in cervical cancer, but also in a variety of other cancer types.
Oncoviruses account for about 12% of new cancer cases annually. Cervical cancer accounts for about 8% of all cancer cases worldwide and is the fourth most common cause of cancer and deaths from cancer in women.
Infections with cancer-causing viruses are a worldwide health burden and contribute to patient mortality.
Researchers are excited about this discovery. Understanding how the two proteins interact with HPV E6 oncogene is an important initial step towards developing methods to target HPV-induced cancers. At the moment there are no specific treatments available.