How HPV Causes Cancer

Michael LIppincott and Mitchell povich

What is HPV?

  • Stands for Human papillomavirus
  • Is a group of 150 related viruses

  • Some types can lead to warts (papillomas)

  • Can lead to cancer (especially cervical)

  • 40 types can infect the genital region of males and females

  • Transmitted through skin-to-skin contact

  • Most common STI

Genes that cause HPV

E1, E4, E6, and E7 are the most common HPV gene regions. Each gene has multiple different activation sites(areas to turn on/off genes).

How HPV Proteins Affect Host Cells

  • Expresses proteins E1, E2, E5, E6, and E7 early in the infection

  • Proteins E7 and E6 hinder terminal differentiation which allows the host cell to continue to produce viruses.
  • proteins--L1 and L2--and E4 are upregulated in HPV They promote viral production and exfoliate the cell
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How does HPV Cause Cancer

HPV infects epithelial cells(cover the surface of cells). Once infected HPV encodes for the production of more proteins(E6 and E7). These proteins usually prevent excessive growth. With the cells Growing out of control more mutations occur and after 10-30 years cancer can develop.
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Microbewiki. (2011, July 23). Human Papillomavirus and Cervical Cancer. Retrieved from

Medscape. (n.d.). Medscape Log In. Retrieved from

CDC. (2015, January 22). What is HPV? Retrieved from