Human papillomavirus type 59 (HPV 59) is an oncogenic type related to HPV 18. HPV 59 was recently propagated in the athymic mouse xenograft system. A continuous keratinocyte cell line infected with HPV 59 was created from a foreskin xenograft grown in an athymic mouse. Cells were cultured beyond passage 50. The cells were highly pleomorphic, containing numerous abnormally shaped nuclei and mitotic figures. HPV 59 sequences were detected in the cells by DNA in situ hybridization in a diffuse nuclear distribution. Southern blots were consistent with an episomal state of HPV 59 DNA at approximately 50 copies per cell. Analysis of the cells using a PCR/reverse blot strip assay, which amplifies a portion of the L1 open reading frame, was strongly positive. Differentiation of cells in monolayers was induced by growth in F medium containing 2 mM calcium chloride for 10 days. Cells were harvested as a single tissue-like sheet, and histologic analysis revealed a four-to-six cell-thick layer. Transcripts encoding involucrin, a cornified envelope protein, and the E1∧E4 and E1∧E4∧L1 viral transcripts were detected after several days of growth in F medium containing 2 mM calcium chloride. The E1∧E4 and L1 proteins were detected by immunohistochemical analysis, and virus particles were seen in electron micrographs in a subset of differentiated cells. An extract of differentiated cells was prepared by vigorous sonication and was used to infect foreskin fragments. These fragments were implanted into athymic mice. HPV 59 was detected in the foreskin xenografts removed 4 months later by DNA in situ hybridization and PCR/reverse blot assay. Thus, the complete viral growth cycle, including production on infectious virus, was demonstrated in the HPV 59 immortalized cells grown in a simple culture system.
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