Induction of cell death in human papillomavirus 18-positive cervical cancer cells by E6 siRNA

K. Yamato, J. Fen, H. Kobuchi, Y. Nasu, T. Yamada, T. Nishihara, Y. Ikeda, M. Kizaki, M. Yoshinouchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Human cervical cancer is caused by high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) such as HPV16 and HPV18, which possess the E6 and E7 oncogenes, whose concurrent expression is a prerequisite for cancer development and maintaining malignant phenotypes. Silencing these oncogenes is considered to be applicable in molecular therapies of human cervical cancer. However, it remains to be determined whether E6, E7, or both should be silenced to obtain most efficient antitumor activity by an HPV small-interfering RNA (siRNA). Herein, we report two types of siRNAs targeting HPV18 E6, that exerted a negative growth effect on HPV18-positive cervical cancer cells (HeLa and SW756), in part, inducing cell death. One siRNA (Ex-18E6), designed to target both E6-E7 mRNA and its splicing variant, E6*I-E7 mRNA, efficiently knocked down both E6 and E7 expression. The other (Sp-18E6), designed to specifically target E6-E7 mRNA but not E6*I-E7 mRNA, suppressed E6 to a similar level as Ex-18E6; however, it less efficiently inhibited E7 as compared to Ex-18E6. Although both siRNAs induced cell death, Sp-18E6 siRNA induced more prominent cell death than Ex-18E6. Our results suggest that E6-specific suppression may induce more potent anticancer activity than simultaneous E6 and E7 suppression, and that E6-specific targeting is a promising strategy for siRNA-based therapy for HPV-positive cervical cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-241
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Gene Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell growth
  • Cervical cancer
  • E6
  • Human papillomavirus 18
  • RNA interference
  • siRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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