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Human papillomavirus infections are associated with most cervical cancers, which are the fourth most common cancer in women. HPV-E6 protein binds to protein p53 and inhibits its function, leading to the switching of normal cells toward cancer cells. Here, we disrupted the HPV-E6 gene and investigated its effects on the proliferation and apoptosis of HeLa cells. The HPV18-E6 gene was targeted with two designed sgRNAs cloned into an AAV-CRISPR-based plasmid. The AAV-E6-CRISPR/Cas9 virions were prepared and titrated in HEK293t cells. The cleavage created in the HPV-E6 gene was detected using the T7E1 assay. Cell cycle profiling, MTT assay, and annexin V/PI staining were performed. Also, the p53 protein level was measured by Western blotting. Our data showed that disruption of the HPV-E6 gene led to increased cell apoptosis and decreased cell proliferation. A significant accumulation of infected cells in sub-G1 phase was observed in the cell profiling assay. Also, HPV-E6 gene disruption resulted in a significant increase in the level of P53 protein. Our findings indicated that AAV-mediated delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 can effectively target the HPV-E6 gene in HeLa cells, and its antiproliferative effects may provide therapeutic benefits of local administration of this gene-editing system for HPV-related cervical cancers. © 2022. The Author(s).


Zahra Noroozi, Mehdi Shamsara, Elahe Valipour, Sahar Esfandyari, Alireza Ehghaghi, Amir Monfaredan, Zahra Azizi, Elahe Motevaseli, Mohammad Hossein Modarressi. Antiproliferative effects of AAV-delivered CRISPR/Cas9-based degradation of the HPV18-E6 gene in HeLa cells. Scientific reports. 2022 Feb 09;12(1):2224

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PMID: 35140292

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