The molecular biology and HPV drug responsiveness of cynomolgus macaque papillomaviruses support their use in the development of a relevant in vivo model for antiviral drug testing

Eva Maria Tombak, Andres Männik, Robert D. Burk, Roger Le Grand, Ene Ustav, Mart Ustav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Due to the extreme tissue and species restriction of the papillomaviruses (PVs), there is a great need for animal models that accurately mimic PV infection in humans for testing therapeutic strategies against human papillomaviruses (HPVs). In this study, we present data that demonstrate that in terms of gene expression during initial viral DNA amplification, Macaca fascicularis PV (MfPV) types 5 and 8 appear to be similar to mucosal oncogenic HPVs, while MfPV1 (isolated from skin) resembles most high-risk cutaneous beta HPVs (HPV5). Similarities were also observed in replication properties during the initial amplification phase of the MfPV genomes. We demonstrate that high-risk mucosal HPV-specific inhibitors target the transient replication of the MfPV8 genomes, which indicates that similar pathways are used by the high-risk HPVs and MfPVs during their genome replication. Taking all into account, we propose that Macaca fascicularis may serve as a highly relevant model for preclinical tests designed to evaluate therapeutic strategies against HPV-associated lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0211235
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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