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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1999 May;43(5):1198-205.

Selective inhibition of human papillomavirus-induced cell proliferation by (S)-1-[3-hydroxy-2-(phosphonylmethoxy)propyl]cytosine.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Molecular Medicine and the Greenville Hospital System Biomedical Cooperative, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634, USA.


(S)-1-[3-Hydroxy-2-(phosphonylmethoxy)propyl]cytosine (HPMPC) is a nucleoside phosphonate analog which in its active diphosphorylated form is known to inhibit herpesvirus DNA polymerase. In this study, we have demonstrated that, in a dose-dependent manner, this compound irreversibly suppressed proliferation of cells infected with human papillomavirus (HPV), which does not possess a viral DNA polymerase. To elucidate the mechanism of cell growth inhibition, cell cycle indicator-regulator expression, thymidine incorporation, transcript levels of apoptosis factors, and anabolic products of HPMPC following drug treatment were evaluated. HPMPC treatment reduced WAF1 (p21) levels independent of those of p53, while proliferating cell nuclear antigen increased. However, in comparison to controls, HPMPC-treated cells displayed a decrease in thymidine incorporation, indicating an inhibition of host DNA polymerase activity. In normal primary keratinocytes, HPMPC predominantly accumulated in the form of the choline adduct HPMPCp-choline. However, in HPV type 16-transformed keratinocytes, HPMPCpp was the most abundant anabolic product, with little HPMPCp-choline having formed. The data imply that an unrecognized viral factor is modulating the conversion of nucleotides, including HPMPC, to the triphosphorylated form.

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