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Pathologe. 2011 Nov;32(6):451-60. doi: 10.1007/s00292-011-1474-7.

[HPV-associated carcinomas of the female genital tract. Molecular mechanisms of development].

[Article in German]

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Abteilung für Angewandte Tumorbiologie, Institut für Pathologie, Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 220, 69120, Heidelberg, Deutschland.


Infections with human papillomaviruses (HPV) are a common occurrence in both men and women. In contrast HPV-associated neoplasias are relatively rare and occur only in certain areas of the body. The virus has obviously developed efficient mechanisms for its persistence without inducing too much damage to the host. The formation of neoplasia seems to be more an exception. Epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in the regulation of viral gene expression. Investigations have indicated that exactly the transition from the permissive infection stage to a transformation stage, where neoplastic alterations can occur due to expression of the viral oncogenes, is associated with certain methylation patterns of the viral genome which promote the expression of the oncogenes E6 and E7. The transforming stage is seen as the actual carcinogenic event and can be immunohistochemically detected by the biomarker p16(INK4a).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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