Background Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a non-enveloped, double-stranded DNA virus. HPV infection occurs through sexual route, and the virus infects mucosal and cutaneous epithelial cells. Inside the cell, the viral DNA replicates extrachromosomally. HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer worldwide. HPVs infecting mucosal epithelial cells are sub-grouped into low-risk or high-risk by virtue of them causing benign warts or cancer, respectively. The early oncoproteins of HPV, namely E4, E5, E6 and E7, are known to contribute to tumorigenesis. The roles and functions of HPV E6 and E7 have been thoroughly studied over the years. However, limited studies have been done on E5 regarding its intracellular functions.
Conclusions This review attempts to discuss the positive role of HPV16 E5 in the form of therapeutic target for cervical cancer, as well as its role in modulation of several intracellular signalling pathways leading to transformed phenotype of the host cell.