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J Virol. 1988 Jan;62(1):84-90.

Accumulation of RNA homologous to human papillomavirus type 16 open reading frames in genital precancers.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York 10032.


The accumulation of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16)-specific RNAs in tissue sections from biopsies of patients with genital precancers was studied by in situ hybridization with single-stranded 35S-labeled RNA. These analyses revealed that the most abundant early-region RNAs were derived from the E4 and E5 open reading frames (ORFs). RNAs homologous to the E6/E7 ORFs were also detected, whereas RNAs homologous to the intervening E1 ORF were not. This suggests that the E4 and E5 mRNAs are derived by splicing to the upstream E6/E7 ORFs, consistent with studies of HPV-11 in condylomata (L. T. Chow et al., Cancer Cells (Cold Spring Harbor) 5:55-72, 1987). Abundant RNAs homologous to the 5' portion of L1 were also detected. These RNAs were localized to the apical strata of the epithelium. HPV-16 RNAs accumulated in discrete regions of these lesions, and when present were most abundant in the upper cell layers of the precancerous epithelium. RNAs homologous to early ORFs were also detected in some germinal cells within the basal layer of the epithelium.

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