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Methods Mol Med. 2005;119:141-55.

Using an immortalized cell line to study the HPV life cycle in organotypic "raft" cultures.

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McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, USA.


The papillomavirus life cycle is tied to the differentiation of the stratified squamous epithelium that this virus infects. The ability to study the papillomavirus life cycle is facilitated by organotypic culturing techniques that allow one to closely recapitulate this terminal differentiation process in the laboratory. Current techniques allow for the establishment of recombinant wild-type or mutant human papillomavirus (HPV) genomes in transfected early-passage human foreskin keratinocytes (HFKs). These cells can then be used in organotypic culture to investigate the role of individual viral genes in different aspects of the viral life cycle. When using early-passage HFKs, there is a need for the transfected HPV genome to extend the life span of the cells in order to have sufficient cell generations in which to carry out organotypic culturing. The recent isolation of a spontaneously immortalized HFK cell line that supports the complete HPV life cycle has further allowed investigators to study wild-type or mutant papillomaviral genomes that do not confer immortalization. In this chapter, we describe the methodologies that permit the study of the HPV life cycle in this HFK cell line.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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