Interaction of papillomaviruses with the cell surface

Richard B.S. Roden, Reinhard Kirnbauer, A. Bennett Jenson, Douglas R. Lowy, John T. Schiller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


To initiate an investigation of the initial step in papillomavirus infection, we have examined the interaction of bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV) virions with C127 cells by two assays, binding of radioiodinated BPV virions to cell monolayers and BPV-induced focal transformation. Under physiological conditions, the labeled virions bound to the cell surface in a dose-dependent manner within 1 h. Antibody studies indicated that the interaction was specific and related to infectivity: polyclonal sera raised to BPV virions or to baculovirus-expressed BPV L1 virus-like particles (VLPs) inhibited BPV binding and focal transformation, while sera to denatured BPV virions, to denatured BPV L1, or to human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) VLPs were not inhibitory. An exception was that antisera to BPV L2 were neutralizing but did not inhibit binding. Unlabeled BPV virions and BPV VLPs competed with binding to the cell surface in a concentration-dependent manner. Binding to the cell surface appeared to depend primarily on L1, since BPV VLPs composed of L1 alone or of L1/L2 were equally effective in inhibiting binding and focal transformation. VLPs of HPV-16 also inhibited BPV binding and BPV transformation of C127 cells, suggesting that they interact with the same cell surface molecule(s) as BPV virions. Radiolabeled BPV bound specifically to several mammalian cell lines of fibroblastic and epithelial origin, as well as to a human schwannoma and melanoma lines, although some lines bound up to 10 times as many counts as others. Radiolabeled HPV-16 VLPs bound to both human keratinocytes and mouse C127 cells. The results suggest that papillomaviruses bind a widely expressed and evolutionarily conserved cell surface receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7260-7266
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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