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J Virol. 2013 Nov;87(22):12051-68. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01798-13. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Recombination-dependent oligomerization of human papillomavirus genomes upon transient DNA replication.

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  • 1University of Tartu, Institute of Technology, Tartu, Estonia.


We describe the extensive and progressive oligomerization of human papillomavirus (HPV) genomes after transfection into the U2OS cell line. The HPV genomic oligomers are extrachromosomal concatemeric molecules containing the viral genome in a head-to-tail orientation. The process of oligomerization does not depend on the topology of the input DNA, and it does not require any other viral factors besides replication proteins E1 and E2. We provide evidence that oligomerization of the HPV18 and HPV11 genomes involves homologous recombination. We also demonstrate oligomerization of the HPV18 and HPV11 genomes in SiHa, HeLa, and C-33 A cell lines and provide examples of oligomeric HPV genomes in clinical samples obtained from HPV-infected patients.

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