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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Arsenic trioxide induces apoptosis of HPV16 DNA-immortalized human cervical epithelial cells and selectively inhibits viral gene expression.

Arsenic trioxide (As2O3), a major ingredient of arsenic compounds in traditional Chinese medicine, exhibits anti-acute promyelocytic leukemic activity. Considering that over 80% of human malignant tumors derive from epithelial cells, we studied the effect of As2O3 on HPV 16 DNA-immortalized human cervical epithelial cells (HCE16/3 cells) in vitro. As2O3 reduced HCE16/3 cell survival, induced apoptosis at a low concentration and selectively inhibited expression of viral early genes. This effect was evidenced by a reduction of cell viability in the MTT assay, G1 arrest and significant apoptosis upon flow-cytometric analysis, presence of apoptotic bodies, formation of DNA ladders upon gel electrophoresis and inhibition of viral early gene expression by RT-PCR and Western blot. There was a good correlation between cell apoptosis and viral early gene inhibition after As2O3 treatment, suggesting that induction of apoptosis of HCE16/3 cells by As2O3 treatment might be associated with down-regulation of viral oncogene expression. In conclusion, our findings indicate that As2O3 induces apoptosis of HCE16/3 cells, which may provide a new approach for treating HPV-associated tumors.[1]


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