The ubiquitin ligase E6-AP (E6-associated protein) represents a prime example for the notion that deregulated modification of proteins with ubiquitin contributes to the development of human disease: loss of E6-AP function by mutation is responsible for the development of AS (Angelman syndrome), a neurological disorder, and unscheduled activation of E6-AP by complex formation with the E6 oncoprotein of HPVs (human papillomaviruses) contributes to cervical carcinogenesis. However, while there is a considerable amount of data concerning the oncogenic properties of the E6–E6-AP complex, only little is known about the function(s) of E6-AP in neurons. This is mainly due to the fact that although some E6-AP substrates have been identified, it is at present unclear whether deregulated modification/degradation of these proteins is involved in the pathogenesis of AS. Similarly, the cellular pathways involving E6-AP remain enigmatic. To obtain insights into the physiological functions of E6-AP, we are currently employing several strategies, including quantitative affinity proteomics and RNA interference approaches. The results obtained will eventually allow the introduction of E6-AP into functional protein networks and so reveal potential targets for molecular approaches in the treatment of E6-AP-associated diseases.

You do not currently have access to this content.