Novel action modality of the diterpenoid anisomelic acid causes depletion of E6 and E7 viral oncoproteins in HPV-transformed cervical carcinoma cells

Paul, Senthil Rajendran, Emilia Peuhu, Alshatwi, Akbarsha, Paul Preethy, John Eriksson

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Cervical cancer, the second most common malignancy among women, is mainly caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. In HPV-positive cervical cancer cells, the activity of p53 and the induction of p21 are inhibited by the HPV oncoproteins E6 and E7. Therefore, blocking the activity of E6 and E7 would serve as an important therapeutic target in these cancer cells. In this study, anisomelic acid (AA), a natural compound belonging to the same diterpenoid family of bioactive compounds as taxol, was found to deplete the E6 and E7 proteins in HPV-positive cervical cancer cells. Consequently, p53 and the p53-responsive gene, p21, were dramatically induced, leading to G2/M-phase cell cycle arrest. AA-mediated cell cycle arrest and p21 expression were canceled when p53 was down-regulated by p53-shRNA. AA also induced p53-independent intrinsic apoptosis by depletion of the cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein 2 (cIAP2) whose proteosomal degradation is inhibited by E6. The in ovo chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay showed that anisomelic acid inhibited the tumor growth of the cervical cancer SiHa cells. AA is revealed to hold a novel action modality based on specific targeting of the HPV oncoproteins, which restores p53-mediated growth arrest and induces apoptosis by terminating E6-mediated cIAP2 stabilization.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)171–184
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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