Sally Roberts

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Papillomaviruses are a large family of small deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) tumour viruses that cause hyperproliferative warts of cutaneous and mucosal epithelium. These viruses are ubiquitous in the animal kingdom and infect reptiles, birds and mammals and probably orginated ~350 million years ago. Subsets of human papillomaviruses (HPVs), referred to as ‘high-risk’ types are associated with anogenital cancers (uterine cervix, vulva, vagina, anus, penis), oropharyngeal cancers, and skin cancers. The papillomavirus life cycle is strictly dependent on the terminal differentiation programme of the host cell - the keratinocyte. The virus deregulates host cell cycle control and inactivates the host cells’s antiproliferative response in order to reprogramme the differentiating cells to support viral replication. In the case of high-risk viruses, this is achieved by interactions with important tumour repressor pathways. Two prophylactic vaccines (Gardasil and Cervarix) are available to control infection by the most prevalent HPV types found in anogenital and oropharyngeal cancers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Life Sciences
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780470015902
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2015


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