A study at Georgetown University Medical Center, dedicated to the biological mechanisms by which human papillomaviruses (HPV) cause cancer, revealed a new strategy that can provide targeted treatment of the disease. HPV is responsible for the development of cervical cancer , head and neck, but the availability of therapy to date - is the operation and non-specific chemotherapy.
A new study published in the October 2 Oncotarget journal, showed that oncoprotein E6, produced by the virus interacts with several other molecules in the host cells so that the infected cells do not die. They continue to multiply, and cancer develops.
"Since 1983, the German virologist Harald zur Hausen discovered that HPV can cause cervical cancer, so far there is no targeted treatment of this disease. In recent years, increased the number of cases of cancer of the head and neck in the US caused by HPV. Now we have a chance to develop and test a very specific, less toxic way to stop these types of cancers, "- says the study's lead author, Ksyufeng Liu, MD, of Georgetown University Medical Center.
Liu and his colleagues previously found that the oncoprotein HPV E6 interferes with the well-known tumor suppressor p53 increase telomerase activity, which prolongs the life of the infected cells. Telomerase is a protein that allows the cell to divide indefinitely.
In the study, researchers found that E6 also cooperates with Myc protein produced Myc-gene, which controls the expression of genes in all normal cells. They concluded that telomerase activity is dependent on the interdependence of the proteins E6 and Moose.
According to Liu, this means that the development of a small molecule that stops the E6 from the junction with the ICC, should stop the constant activation of telomerase. A small molecule can bind to E6 in the same place as the Myc, Myc or bind to the same location as the E6, thereby preventing interaction of E6 and Myc.
"This molecule is not toxic to normal cells, and all that is important for stem cells - Liu says. - This may be a unique treatment aimed specifically at cancer caused by HPV. "
Now, Georgetown researchers are working on a prototype of a chemical to prevent the binding of E6 and Myc.