Structural Basis for Hijacking of Cellular LxxLL Motifs by Papillomavirus E6 Oncoproteins

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Science  08 Feb 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6120, pp. 694-698
DOI: 10.1126/science.1229934

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Targeting HPV

Papillomaviruses infect mammalian epithelial cells and induce cancers, including cervical cancer in humans. Vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) can prevent, but not cure, infection. A key viral oncoprotein, E6, acts by binding and inactivating many host proteins. Zanier et al. (p. 694) determined high-resolution crystal structures of bovine papillomavirus bound to a peptide from the focal adhesion protein, paxillin, and of HPV bound to a peptide from the ubiquitin ligase E6AP. The structures show that the peptide binds in a pocket formed by two zinc domains and a linker helix, which represents a promising target for therapeutics.