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Molecular Therapy of Virus-Associated Cancers

Research Group Molecular Therapy of Virus-Associated Cancers

Prof. Dr. Felix Hoppe-Seyler

Tumor viruses are major causes of human cancers. Using human papillomavirus (HPV)-linked cancers as a model, the Group “Molecular Therapy of Virus-Associated Cancers” studies the crosstalk between tumor viruses and the host cell metabolism. We found that hypoxia (reduced oxygen supply), as typically present in subregions of human cancers, critically affects the interaction between the HPV oncogenes and their host cell. As a result, hypoxia likely (i) supports evasion of HPV-positive cancer cells from immune surveillance, (ii) increases their therapeutic resistance against chemo- and radiotherapy and (iii) may generate reservoir cells for tumor recurrence. Thus, the interaction between HPVs and the host cell metabolism profoundly influences the malignant growth of HPV-positive cancer cells with important implications for the clinic.

To improve cancer therapy, we aim to develop strategies that counteract hypoxia-linked therapeutic resistance. In addition, we extend the analyses of the virus/host cell crosstalk to other cancer-relevant metabolic programs, such as iron metabolism.

For details see: Research


Prof. Dr. Felix Hoppe-Seyler
Molecular Therapy of Virus-Associated Cancers (F065)
Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg
Tel: +49 6221 42 4872

Selected Publications

  • Hoppe-Seyler K, Herrmann AL, Däschle A, Kuhn BJ, Strobel T, Lohrey C, Bulkescher J, Krijgsveld J, Hoppe-Seyler F (2021). Effects of Metformin on the Virus/Host Cell Crosstalk in HPV-Positive Cancer Cells. Int. J. Cancer, 149: 1137-1149.
  • Braun JA, Herrmann AL, Blase JI, Frensemeier K, Bulkescher J, Scheffner M, Galy B, Hoppe-Seyler K, Hoppe-Seyler F (2020). Effects of the antifungal agent ciclopirox in HPV-positive cancer cells: Repression of Viral E6/E7 Oncogene Expression and Induction of Senescence and Apoptosis. Int. J. Cancer, 146: 461-474.
  • Bossler F, Kuhn BF, Günther T, Kraemer SJ, Khalkar P, Adrian S, Lohrey C, Holzer A, Shimobayashi M, Dürst M, Mayer A, Rösl F, Grundhoff A, Krijgsveld J, Hoppe-Seyler K, Hoppe-Seyler F (2019). Repression of Human Papillomavirus Oncogene Expression under Hypoxia is Mediated by PI3K/mTORC2/AKT Signaling. mBIO, 10: e02323-18.
  • Hoppe-Seyler K, Bossler F, Braun JA, Herrmann AL, Hoppe-Seyler F. (2018). The HPV E6/E7 Oncogenes: Key Factors for Viral Carcinogenesis and Therapeutic Targets. Trends in Microbiology, 26: 158-168.
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