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J Virol. 1997 Oct;71(10):7381-6.

Synthesis of infectious human papillomavirus type 18 in differentiating epithelium transfected with viral DNA.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey 17033, USA.


The lack of a permissive system for the propagation of viral stocks containing abundant human papillomavirus (HPV) particles has hindered the study of infectivity and the early stages of HPV replication. The organotypic (raft) culture system has permitted the study of a number of the differentiation-specific aspects of HPV, including amplification of viral DNA, expression of late genes, and viral morphogenesis. However, these investigations have been limited to a single virus type, namely, HPV type 31 (HPV31). We have artificially introduced linearized HPV18 genomic DNA into primary keratinocytes by electroporation, followed by clonal expansion and induction of epithelial stratification and differentiation in organotypic culture. We report the synthesis of infectious HPV18 virions. Virus particles approximately 50 nm in diameter were observed by electron microscopy. HPV18 virions purified by isopycnic gradient were capable of infecting keratinocytes in vitro, as shown by the expression of multiple HPV18-specific, spliced transcripts.

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