What is the expression of viral genes in human papillomavirus (HPV)?

Updated: Feb 20, 2020
  • Author: Peter A Gearhart, MD; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Answer

Although all cells of a lesion contain the viral genome, the expression of viral genes is tightly linked to the state of cellular differentiation. Most viral genes are not activated until the infected keratinocyte leaves the basal layer. Production of virus particles can occur only in highly differentiated keratinocytes; therefore, virus production occurs only at the epithelial surface where the cells are ultimately sloughed into the environment.


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