Cloned DNA from human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 was subjected to restriction enzyme analysis. A genome size of 7.8 ± 0.1 kb was determined and restriction maps were prepared. Fragments of HPV 16 DNA were nick-translated and hybridized with fragments of HPV 6b DNA. The two genomes appeared to be colinear. The physical state of HPV 16 DNA in genital tumours was analysed. In each of six benign tumours the viral DNA was detected exclusively as 8 kb circles. In four malignant tumours the viral DNA appeared to be integrated within the host genome but one cervical carcinoma and one case of Bowen's disease also contained oligomeric episomal molecules of viral DNA. One cervical carcinoma (WV 2965), containing only integrated viral DNA, was examined in detail. HPV 16 DNA was integrated as head-to-tail tandem repeats at more than one site. Three virus/cell junction fragments from this tumour were cloned. Two contained lengths of repetitive cellular DNA and one a length of apparently single copy cellular DNA.


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