The Molecular Pathogenesis of Human Papillomavirus-Associated Cancer

Part of the Cancer Prevention — Cancer Causes book series (CPCC, volume 2)


Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are small, non-enveloped, double-stranded DNA viruses that induce hyperproliferative lesions in epithelial tissues (Howley, 1996). More than 100 different types of HPV have been identified and each of these exhibits greater than 10% difference at the nucleotide level in the LI capsid coding sequence (Meyers et al., 1996; zur Hausen, 2002). These HPV types infect a range of epithelial tissues. For instance, HPV 1 infects epithelial tissues on the soles of feet while HPV types 2, 4 and 7 infect cutaneous epithelia to induce common hand warts. The most well characterized HPV types, however, are those that infect genital epithelia, and these can be sub-grouped based on their association with cervical and other anogenital cancers. “High-risk” HPV types such as HPV 16, 18, 31, and 45 induce lesions that can lead to cancer, while “low-risk” types such as HPV 6 and 11 induce benign lesions that rarely progress (zur Hausen, 2002; Howley, 1996).


Viral Life Cycle hTERT Expression Upstream Regulatory Region Human Foreskin Keratinocytes CCAAT Displacement Protein 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology - Immunology, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityUSA

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