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      Flavonol and imidazole derivatives block HPV16 E6 activities and reactivate apoptotic pathways in HPV + cells


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          High-risk human papillomaviruses (HR-HPVs) cause nearly all cases of cervical cancer, as well as approximately 30% of head and neck cancers. HPV 16 E6, one of two major viral oncogenes, protects cells from apoptosis by binding to and accelerating the degradation of several proteins important in apoptotic signaling, including caspase 8 and p53. We proposed that blocking the interactions between HPV E6 and its partners using small molecules had the potential to re-sensitize HPV + cells to apoptosis. To test this idea, we screened libraries of small molecules for candidates that could block E6/caspase 8 binding and identified several candidates from different chemical classes. We tested hits for dose-dependency and specificity in vitro and for toxicity in a cell-based assay and then used this information to select the two best candidates for further testing: myricetin, a flavonol, and spinacine, an imidazole amino-acid derivative of histidine. Both compounds clearly inhibited the ability of E6 to bind in vitro to both caspase 8 and E6AP, the protein that mediates p53 degradation. In addition, both compounds were able to increase the level of caspase 8 and p53 in SiHa cervical cancer cells, resulting in an increase of caspase 3/7 activity. Finally, both myricetin and spinacine sensitized HPV + cervical and oral cancer cells, but not HPV cervical and oral cancer cells, to apoptosis induced by the cancer-specific ligand TRAIL, as well as the chemotherapeutic agents doxorubicin and cisplatin. New therapies based on this work may improve treatment for HPV + cancer patients.

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          Degradation of p53 can be targeted by HPV E6 sequences distinct from those required for p53 binding and trans-activation.

          Human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18 appear to play a role in the development of ano-genital malignancies, whereas HPV 6 and 11 are usually associated with benign lesions. One HPV16 oncoprotein, E6, complexes with and promotes degradation of the cellular tumor suppressor p53. Here we show that E6 proteins of both oncogenic and benign HPV types associate in vitro with p53, but binding by E6 proteins of benign HPV types cannot target p53 for degradation. A C-terminal region of E6 conserved among all HPV types is important for p53 binding. However, N-terminal sequences of E6 conserved only between oncogenic HPV types are necessary to direct p53 degradation. p53 binding by E6 appears necessary but not sufficient for this activity. All E6 proteins tested showed comparable transcriptional trans-activating activity, a property that does not require the ability to bind or direct degradation of p53.
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            The human papillomavirus 16 E6 protein binds to Fas-associated death domain and protects cells from Fas-triggered apoptosis.

            High risk strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), such as HPV 16, cause human cervical carcinoma. The E6 protein of HPV 16 mediates the rapid degradation of the tumor suppressor p53, although this is not the only function of E6 and cannot completely explain its transforming potential. Previous work in our laboratory has demonstrated that E6 can protect cells from tumor necrosis factor-induced apoptosis by binding to the C-terminal end of tumor necrosis factor R1, thus blocking apoptotic signal transduction. In this study, E6 was shown to also protect cells from apoptosis induced via the Fas pathway. Furthermore, use of an inducible E6 expression system demonstrated that this protection is dose-dependent, with higher levels of E6 leading to greater protection. Although E6 suppresses activation of both caspase 3 and caspase 8, it does not affect apoptotic signaling through the mitochondrial pathway. Mammalian two-hybrid and in vitro pull-down assays were then used to demonstrate that E6 binds directly to the death effector domain of Fas-associated death domain (FADD), with deletion and site-directed mutants enabling the localization of the E6-binding site to the N-terminal end of the FADD death effector domain. E6 is produced in two forms as follows: a full-length version of approximately 16 kDa and a smaller version of about half that size corresponding to the N-terminal half of the full-length protein. Pull-down and functional assays demonstrated that the full-length version, but not the small version of E6, was able to bind to FADD and to protect cells from Fas-induced apoptosis. In addition, binding to E6 leads to degradation of FADD, with the loss of cellular FADD proportional to the amount of E6 expressed. These results support a model in which E6-mediated degradation of FADD prevents transmission of apoptotic signals via the Fas pathway.
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              TRAIL agonists on clinical trials for cancer therapy: the promises and the challenges.

              Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) is normally expressed in the human immune system and plays a critical role in antitumor immunity. TRAIL interacts with the death receptors, DR4 and DR5, and activates intracellular apoptotic pathway in cancer cells. This discovery has resulted in a rapid development of cancer therapeutic agents that can activate this apoptotic pathway. These therapeutic agents include recombinant human TRAIL (rhTRAIL) and its agonistic monoclonal antibody (MAb) against DR4 and DR5. Phase I trials have established the safety and tolerability of these TRAIL agonists in patients. Phase II trials are currently evaluating the therapeutic efficacy of TRAIL agonists as single agents or in combination with established cancer therapeutics. This review outlines the advances and the challenges in the development of these TRAIL agonists as effective clinical cancer therapeutics.

                Author and article information

                Cell Death Dis
                Cell Death Dis
                Cell Death & Disease
                Nature Publishing Group
                January 2016
                21 January 2016
                1 January 2016
                : 7
                : 1
                : 2060
                [1 ]Department of Basic Sciences, Loma Linda University School of Medicine , 11021 Campus Street, 101 Alumni Hall, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA
                [2 ]KGI School of Pharmacy , 535 Watson Drive, Claremont, CA 91711, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Department of Basic Sciences, Loma Linda University School of Medicine , 11021 Campus Street, 101 Alumni Hall, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA. Tel: 909 558 4480; Fax: 909 558 4035; E-mail: pdhughes@ 123456llu.edu
                Copyright © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited

                Cell Death and Disease is an open-access journal published by Nature Publishing Group. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                : 13 August 2015
                : 22 November 2015
                : 03 December 2015
                Original Article

                Cell biology
                Cell biology


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