E7 is an accessory protein that is not encoded by all papillomaviruses. The E7 amino terminus contains two regions of similarity to conserved regions 1 and 2 of the adenovirus E1A protein, which are also conserved in the simian vacuolating virus 40 large tumor antigen. The E7 carboxyl terminus consists of a zinc-binding motif, which is related to similar motifs in E6 proteins. E7 proteins play a central role in the human papillomavirus life cycle, reprogramming the cellular environment to be conducive to viral replication. E7 proteins encoded by the cancer-associated alpha human papillomaviruses have potent transforming activities, which together with E6, are necessary but not sufficient to render their host squamous epithelial cell tumorigenic. This article strives to provide a comprehensive summary of the published research studies on human papillomavirus E7 proteins.
Keywords: Cervical cancer; Regulation of cell cycle checkpoints; Regulation of transcription; Transformation; Viral life cycle; Viral oncology.
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