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Human Papillomavirus Infections, Cervical Cancer, and MicroRNAs: An Overview and Implications for Public Health

Author(s):

Michela Lucia Sammarco, Manuela Tamburro, Alessandra Pulliero, Alberto Izzotti and Giancarlo Ripabelli*   Pages 1 - 13 ( 13 )

Abstract:


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is among the most common sexually transmitted infections in both females and males across the world that generally do not cause symptoms and are characterized by high rates of clearance. Persistent infections due at least to twelve well-recognized high-risk (HR) or oncogenic genotypes, although less frequent, can occur, leading to diseases and malignancies, principally cervical cancer. Three vaccination strategies are currently available for preventing certain HR HPVs-associated diseases, infections due to HPV6 and HPV11 low-risk types, as well as for providing cross-protection against non-vaccine genotypes. Nevertheless, the limited vaccine coverage hampers reducing the burden of HPV-related diseases globally.

For HR HPV types, especially HPV16 and HPV18, the E6 and E7 oncoproteins are needed for cancer development. As for other tumors, even in cervical cancer, non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in post-transcriptional regulation, resulting in aberrant expression profiles.

In this study, we provide a summary of the epidemiological background for HPV occurrence and available immunization programs. In addition, we present an overview of the most relevant evidence of miRNAs deregulation in cervical cancer, underlining that targeting these biomolecules could lead to wide translational perspectives, allowing better diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutics, and with valuable applications in the field of prevention. The literature on this topic is rapidly growing, but advanced investigations are required to achieve more consistent findings on the up-regulated and down-regulated miRNAs in cervical carcinogenesis. Because the expression of miRNAs is heterogeneously reported, it may be valuable to assess factors and risks related to individual susceptibility.

Keywords:

E6 oncoprotein, E7 oncoprotein, immunization programs, miRNA, oncoviruses, tumor biomarkers

Affiliation:

Department of Medicine and Health Sciences “Vincenzo Tiberio”, University of Molise, Campobasso, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences “Vincenzo Tiberio”, University of Molise, Campobasso, Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences “Vincenzo Tiberio”, University of Molise, Campobasso



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