Because of the clinical importance of papillomavirus infections, and the risk of malignant progression of some of the lesions induced by this group of viruses (zur Hausen, 1991), the study of their transformation potential and characteristics acquires particular importance. Although in recent years experimental systems have been developed which allow investigation into cell transformation by human papillomaviruses (HPVs), the first steps in the molecular aspects of cell transformation were made with animal papillomaviruses, first and foremost bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV-1). In addition animal systems have highlighted the interaction between virus and cofactors in oncogenesis, and have the unique advantage over the human one that direct experimentation is feasible. Thus, BPV-4-associated carcinogenesis of the alimentary canal of cattle (Jarrett , 1978) has been experimentally reproduced both in cattle (Campo & Jarrett, 1987) and in mice (Gaukroger , 1991).


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