Human Papillomaviruses and Cancer

  • Jianxin You
  • Susanne Wells
Part of the Current Cancer Research book series (CUCR)


Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) have evolved an intricate network of interactions with their keratinocyte host cells in order to infect, remain latent, and productively replicate in an orderly fashion. Distinct phases of the HPV life cycle take place in geographically distinct areas within the epidermis and are in turn influenced by the cellular differentiation status. Carcinogenesis resulting from HPV infection is relatively rare, and usually incompatible with the natural viral life cycle. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on HPV genome status and functions of viral replication proteins and viral oncogenes. We describe in detail the reprogramming of specific host cell factors, which can affect the replicative or transforming potential of HPV. Molecular events that drive stepwise malignant transformation are included, with a particular emphasis on the role of DNA damage and genome instability that were more recently identified. Persistent HPV infection is known to be almost universally associated with cervical malignancies, but has now been clearly implicated in the etiology of a subset of head and neck cancers (HNCs). Emerging commonalities and possible differences between HPV-associated cervical versus HNCs are outlined toward the end of this review.


Cervical Cancer Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutate Mitotic Chromosome Viral Life Cycle Viral Episome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Hematology/OncologyCincinnati Children’s HospitalCincinnatiUSA

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