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Small Molecule Inhibitors of Human Papillomavirus: A Review of Research from 1997 to 2021


Caitlin L. Duncan, Hendra Gunosewoyo, Mauro Mocerino* and Alan D. Payne   Pages 1 - 43 ( 43 )


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are the cause of warts, lesions and cancer, with different types of HPV causing different symptoms. HPV infections are the primary cause of cervical cancer. There are over 220 different types of HPV, and only nine of these can currently be vaccinated. There is a need to treat these viral infections without just treating the symptoms of the infection, as is currently the main method. There is a wide range of small molecules that have been used to inhibit various stages of the HPV infectious cycle. This review examined 132 small molecules from 121 studies that specifically target aspects of HPV infections. HPV DNA encodes for six early genes (E1 to E7, skipping E3) and two late genes (L1 and L2). According to the results, these targets for small molecule inhibitors fall into three categories: those targeting E1 and E2, targeting E6 and E7 and, finally, targeting L1 and L2. Inhibitors of E6 and E7 are the most widely studied targets, with the majority of HPV inhibition in this area. While compounds targeting both E1/E2 and E6/E7 have made it to clinical trials, there has been no significant advancement on the topic.


Human papillomavirus, HPV, anti-virals, HPV inhibitors, cervical cancer, viral infections.


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