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Virology. 2007 Mar 1;359(1):28-36. Epub 2006 Oct 10.

An epidermotropic canine papillomavirus with malignant potential contains an E5 gene and establishes a unique genus.

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Department of Pathology, Georgetown University Medical School, 3900 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA.


A novel canine papillomavirus, CfPV-2, was cloned from a footpad lesion of a golden retriever. Unlike the known canine oral papillomavirus (COPV), which has a double-stranded DNA genome size of 8607 bps, the genome of CfPV-2 is 8101 bps. Some of this size difference is due to an abbreviated early-late region (ELR), which is 1200 bps shorter than that of COPV. However, CfPV-2 has other differences from COPV, including the presence of an E5 ORF between the E2 gene and the ELR and an enlarged E4 ORF (one of the largest PV E4 open reading frames). The genome of CfPV-2 shares low homology with all the other papillomaviruses and, even in the most highly conserved ORF of L1, the nucleotide sequence shares only 57% homology with COPV. Due to this highly divergent DNA sequence, CfPV-2 establishes a new PV genus, with its closest phylogenetic relatives being amongst the Xi and Gamma genuses. CfPV-2 also has unique biological features; it induces papillomas on footpads and interdigital regions which, if infection is persistent, can progress to highly metastatic squamous cell carcinoma. CfPV-2 does not induce oral papillomas in immunocompetent animals and antibodies generated against COPV and CfPV-2 are type-specific. The availability of a new canine papillomavirus with differing genetic and biological properties now makes it possible to study type-specific host immune responses, tissue tropism and the comparative analysis of viral gene functions in the dog.

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