1887

Abstract

Bovine papillomavirus (BPV) induces papillomas in cattle; in the great majority of cases, these regress due to the host immune response, but they can persist and progress to malignancy. Even in the absence of malignant transformation, BPV infection persists for a significant period of time before activation of the host immune system, suggesting that the host immune system is unaware of, or disabled by, BPV. E5 is the major oncoprotein of BPV, which, in addition to its transforming properties, downregulates the expression and transport to the cell surface of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I). Here, it is shown that co-expression of MHC I and E5 in papillomas caused by BPV-4 infection is mutually exclusive, in agreement with the inhibition of surface MHC I expression by E5 that is observed . The inhibition of MHC expression in E5-expressing papilloma cells could explain the long period that is required for activation of the immune response and has implications for the progression of papillomas to the malignant stage; absence of peptide presentation by MHC I to cytotoxic T lymphocytes would allow the infected cells to evade the host cellular immune response and allow the lesions to persist.

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2004-10-01
2019-10-20
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