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J Virol. Feb 1995; 69(2): 948–954.
PMCID: PMC188663

Papillomavirus capsid binding and uptake by cells from different tissues and species.


The inability of papillomaviruses (PV) to replicate in tissue culture cells has hampered the study of the PV life cycle. We investigated virus-cell interactions by the following two methods: (i) using purified bovine PV virions or human PV type 11 (HPV type 11) virus-like particles (VLP) to test the binding to eukaryotic cells and (ii) using different VLP-reporter plasmid complexes of HPV6b, HPV11 L1 or HPV11 L1/L2, and HPV16 L1 or HPV16 L1/L2 to study uptake of particles into different cell lines. Our studies showed that PV capsids bind to a broad range of cells in culture in a dose-dependent manner. Binding of PV capsids to cells can be blocked by pretreating the cells with the protease trypsin. Penetration of PV into cells was monitored by using complexes in which the purified PV capsids were physically linked to DNA containing the gene for beta-galactosidase driven by the human cytomegalovirus promoter. Expression of beta-galactosidase occurred in < 1% of the cells, and the efficiency of PV receptor-mediated gene delivery was greatly enhanced (up to 10 to 20% positive cells) by the use of a replication-defective adenovirus which promotes endosomal lysis. The data generated by this approach further confirmed the results obtained from the binding assays, showing that PV enter a wide range of cells and that these cells have all functions required for the uptake of PV. Binding and uptake of PV particles can be blocked by PV-specific antisera, and different PV particles compete for particle uptake. Our results suggest that the PV receptor is a conserved cell surface molecule(s) used by different PV and that the tropism of infection by different PV is controlled by events downstream of the initial binding and uptake.

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Selected References

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