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J Clin Microbiol. 1993 Nov;31(11):2918-26.

Genetic heterogeneity of oncogenic human papillomavirus type 5 (HPV5) and phylogeny of HPV5 variants associated with epidermodysplasia verruciformis.

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  • 1Unité des Papillomavirus, Unité de l'Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale 190, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


Variants of oncogenic human papillomavirus type 5 (HPV5), specifically associated with epidermodysplasia verruciformis, were recognized on the basis of the genetic heterogeneity of the E6 open reading frame (ORF). To further evaluate the genetic heterogeneity of HPV5, we sequenced the long control region (LCR), the E7 ORF, and the terminal parts of the E2 ORF of five previously characterized HPV5 variants and compared the data with the published HPV5a1 and HPV5b sequences. Alignment of the variants showed 140 (7.6%) variable nucleotides of 1,854 sequenced. Nucleotide substitution rates varied from 3.6% in the E7 ORF to 11% in the E6 ORF. By sequencing the variable region encompassing the LCR 3' part and the E6 ORF of isolates from six additional epidermodysplasia verruciformis patients, we identified three new variants and three already known variants, indicating the stability of HPV5 variants. This stability was further demonstrated by the identity of isolates obtained years later from benign and malignant lesions of three patients. Phylogenetic analysis of the 10 HPV5 variants distributed them into three groups, tentatively defining subtypes a, b, and c. The phylogenetic grouping shows no geographical dependence, a fact that may be related to the host restriction that characterizes HPV5 infections. No differences in the enhancer potential of the LCR or in the transactivating properties of the E2 protein assayed in vitro were observed among HPV5 variants. Whether HPV5 variants possess distinct biological properties in vivo remains to be determined.

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