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Arch Virol. 2005 Jan;150(1):145-51. Epub 2004 Oct 5.

UV-B irradiation stimulates the promoter activity of the high-risk, cutaneous human papillomavirus 5 and 8 in primary keratinocytes.

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Institute of Virology and Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.


Human papillomaviruses (HPV) have been implicated in the development of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). HPV types 5 and 8 are strongly associated with NMSC in patients with the inherited disease Epidermodysplasia verruciformis (Ev). In these patients tumours arise predominantly on sun-exposed skin and consistently harbour HPV DNAs. To determine whether UV-B irradiation modulates the noncoding region (NCR) promoter activity of the Ev-HPV types 5, 8, 9, 14, 23, 24, and 25 we performed transient transfection assays with NCR luciferase reporter gene constructs in primary human epithelial keratinocytes (PHEKs) and in p53-null RTS3b cells. Each of the HPVs showed different basal NCR activity in both cell types and reacted differently upon UVB treatment and p53 cotransfection in RTS3b cells. The NCR of HPV5 and 8 were the only ones to be activated by UV-B in PHEKs. The stimulation of the NCR activity of the high-risk cutaneous HPV types 5 and 8 by UV-B irradiation may point to a role of this interaction in the development of NMSC.

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