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EMBO J. 1988 Oct;7(10):3181-7.

Quantitative keratinocyte assay detects two biological activities of human papillomavirus DNA and identifies viral types associated with cervical carcinoma.

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National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Keratinocytes electroporated with human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA (HPV-6, 11, 16 and 18) exhibited an increased cellular proliferation which was quantitated as microcolony and macrocolony formation. However, only macrocolonies induced by HPV-16 or HPV-18 DNA (the two viral types most commonly found in human cervical carcinomas) gave rise to proliferating, poorly-stratified colonies when grown in the presence of serum and calcium. Hydrocortisone increased the frequency of these differentiation-resistant colonies, and studies showed that they were immortalized, contained one copy of viral DNA per cell, expressed three discrete species of viral RNA and synthesized the viral E7 protein. HPV-induced cellular proliferation and altered differentiation are therefore separable events and may represent the activity of different viral genes.

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