Infections with high-risk human papillomaviruses cause ~5% of all human cancers. E6 and E7 are the only viral genes that are consistently expressed in cancers, and they are necessary for tumor initiation, progression, and maintenance. E6 and E7 encode small proteins that lack intrinsic enzymatic activities and they function by binding to cellular regulatory molecules, thereby subverting normal cellular homeostasis. Much effort has focused on identifying protein targets of the E6 and E7 proteins, but it has been estimated that ~98% of the human transcriptome does not encode proteins. There is a growing interest in studying noncoding RNAs as biochemical targets and biological mediators of human papillomavirus (HPV) E6/E7 oncogenic activities. This review focuses on HPV E6/E7 targeting cellular long noncoding RNAs, a class of biologically versatile molecules that regulate almost every known biological process and how this may contribute to viral oncogenesis.
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