Papillomaviruses and Assays for Transforming Genes

  • Karen H. Vousden
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 8)


Human papillomavirus (HPV) research dates back to the turn of the century, when Ciuffo demonstrated that human warts are caused by an infectious agent, only later identified as a virus (1). More recently, the HPVs have generated particular interest, since they include some of the few viruses clearly involved in the development of certain human cancers (2). Although most papillomaviruses give rise to benign, self-limiting proliferations, a number of human and animal papillomaviruses have also been shown to have oncogenic potential. This link between papillomaviruses and malignant disease was first recognized more than 50 years ago, when it was shown that benign lesions induced by the cottontail rabbit papillomavirus could progress to invasive carcinoma (3). The change from benign lesions to malignancy and the identification of factors that contribute to this conversion has been extremely useful as a model for tumor progression. However, following the initial studies that so elegantly identified the oncogenic potential of papillomaviruses, research into these viruses slowed considerably for many years. Further investigation has been hampered by the failure to develop an in vitro culture system for viral propagation. In general, papillomaviruses are limited to a single host and show strong tropism with respect to the cell type that they infect. Most papillomaviruses infect only cutaneous or mucosal epithelial cells at specific anatomical sites. Viral DNA replication and transcription of some viral sequences occurs in cells throughout the epithelium.


NIH3T3 Cell Recipient Cell Population Doubling Time Normal Growth Medium Ring Cloning 
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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Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc., Clifton, NJ 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen H. Vousden
    • 1
  1. 1.Ludwig InstituteSt. Mary’s HospitalLondonUK

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