Human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) is a well-known etiological factor for cervical and oropharyngeal cancers. The E2 protein, the product of an early-transcribed gene in HPV-16, is postulated to cause the death of cancerous cells via p53-dependent and p53-independent pathways. The main aim of the present systematic review was to study the HPV 16-E2 protein as an apoptosis-inducer agent. A thorough search of MEDLINE/PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus, and EBSCOhost databases was conducted for relevant studies on HPV AND apoptosis OR cell death where HPV 16-E2 was involved. The search identified 967 publications. Eleven records dated from 1 January 1997 to 16 February 2022 were found to meet the inclusion criteria and were eligible for data extraction and inclusion. All studies concluded that HPV 16-E2 was able to induce cell death in transfected cells. E2 proteins from the high-risk HPV-16 were able to induce apoptosis through different apoptotic pathways depending on the location of the expressed gene. However, the mechanism was still unclear, and further studies are warranted.
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