The Open Virology
Small Molecule Inhibitors of Human Papillomavirus Protein - Protein
Interactions, 2011; 5: Pp. 80-95
C.M. D’Abramo and J. Archambault
Published Date: (4 July, 2011)
Human papillomaviruses (HPV) have now been identified as a necessary cause of benign and malignant lesions
of the differentiating epithelium, particularly cervical cancer, the second most prevalent cancer in women worldwide.
While two prophylactic HPV vaccines and screening programs are available, there is currently no antiviral drug for the
treatment of HPV infections and associated diseases. The recent progress toward the identification and characterization of
specific molecular targets for small molecule-based approaches provides prospect for the development of effective HPV
antiviral compounds. Traditionally, antiviral therapies target viral enzymes. HPV encode for few proteins, however, and
rely extensively on the infected cell for completion of their life cycle. This article will review the functions of the viral E1
helicase, which encodes the only enzymatic function of the virus, of the E2 regulatory protein, and of the viral E6 and E7
oncogenes in viral replication and pathogenesis. Particular emphasis will be placed on the recent progress made towards
the development of novel small molecule inhibitors that specifically target and inhibit the functions of these viral proteins,
as well as their interactions with other viral and/or cellular proteins.