The HPV 6 E6/E7 transforming genes are expressed in inverted papilloma

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A role for human papilloma virus (HPV) infection in the pathogenesis of head and neck neoplasms has gained support in recent years. Expression of two early-region HPV genes, E6 and E7, is widely accepted as essential for viral-induced carcinomas of the genital tract. These oncoproteins interact with the products of the cellular tumor suppressor genes, p53 and retinoblastoma, and inactivate them. Examining E6/E7 transforming gene expression is an important step toward elucidating the pathogenesis of HPV in head and neck neoplasms. We introduce nasal inverted papilloma (IP) as a novel system for evaluating viral genomic expression and transforming gene regulation of tumorigenesis by virtue of its association to HPV infection and potential for malignant progression. We describe here a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction approach for the detection of HPV E6/E7-specific transcripts in RNA extracted from IP. A primer pair flanking previously mapped HPV 6 E6/E7 splice donor/acceptor sites was used to direct amplification of cDNA. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction experiments generated products representing the 1.2 Kb E1ˆE4 splice transcript and a smaller unclassified fragment in IP from two patients. These results provide evidence for HPV 6 E6/E7 expression in IP with the potential to encode transforming proteins. (Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1998;118:312-8.)

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