The presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 DNA in biopsies from precancerous lesions and from early lesions of human cervical cancer, and the integration of virus DNA into host cell DNA were analysed by dot blot and Southern blot hybridizations. HPV 16 DNA was detected in 23% of mild dysplasias, 32% of moderate dysplasias, 55% of severe dysplasias and 62% of carcinomas by dot blot hybridization. Digestion of the DNA with restriction enzymes I and HI followed by Southern blot analysis revealed the presence of some typical restriction fragments of HPV 16 DNA in most virus-positive samples. In addition, we detected submolar fragments which might represent virus-cell junction sequences in 86% of dysplasias, suggesting that the integration of HPV 16 DNA could occur in the precancerous stage.

Keyword(s): dysplasia , genome integration and HPV 16

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