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E6 also has a close relationship with the cellular protein E6-associated protein (E6-AP), which is involved in the ubiquitin ligase pathway, a system that acts to degrade proteins.
E6-AP binds ubiquitin to the p53 protein, thereby flagging it for proteosomal degradation.
HPV-associated cancers make up over 5% of total diagnosed cancer cases worldwide, and this incidence is higher in developing countries where it is estimated to cause almost half a million cases each year.
Some of the "early genes" carried by the HPV virus, such as genes E6 and E7, act as oncogenes that promote tumor growth and malignant transformation.
The great majority of genital HPV infections never cause any overt symptoms and are cleared by the immune system in a matter of months.
E6 produces a protein (also called E6) that binds to and inactivates a protein in the host cell called p53.Throat cancers associated with HPV have been estimated to have increased from 0.8 cases per 100,000 people in 1988 to 2.6 per 100,000 in 2004.