Molecular characterization, tissue tropism, and genetic variability of the novel Mupapillomavirus type HPV204 and phylogenetically related types HPV1 and HPV63

PLoS One. 2017 Apr 20;12(4):e0175892. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175892. eCollection 2017.


HPV204 is the only newly identified Mupapillomavirus (Mu-PV) type in more than a decade. To comprehensively characterize HPV204, we performed a detailed molecular analysis of the viral genome and evaluated its clinical relevance in comparison to the other Mu-PVs, HPV1 and HPV63. The 7,227-bp long genome of HPV204 exhibits typical genomic organization of Mu-PVs with eight open reading frames (ORFs) (E6, E7, E1, E2, E8, E4, L2, and L1). We developed three type-specific quantitative real-time PCRs and used them to test a representative collection (n = 1,006) of various HPV-associated benign and malignant neoplasms, as well as samples of clinically normal cutaneous, mucosal, and mucocutaneous origins. HPV204, HPV1, and HPV63 were detected in 1.1%, 2.7%, and 1.9% of samples tested, respectively, and were present in skin and mucosa, suggesting dual tissue tropism of all Mu-PVs. To evaluate the etiological role of Mu-PVs in the development of HPV-associated neoplasms, Mu-PV viral loads per single cell were estimated. HPV1 and HPV63 were present in high viral copy numbers in 3/43 and 1/43 cutaneous warts, respectively, and were identified as the most likely causative agents of these warts. HPV204 viral load was extremely low in a single HPV204-positive cutaneous wart (7.4 × 10-7 viral copies/cell). Hence, etiological association between HPV204 and the development of cutaneous warts could not be established. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the genetic variability of Mu-PVs by sequencing complete LCR genomic regions of HPV204, HPV1, and HPV63. We detected several nucleotide substitutions and deletions within the LCR genomic regions of Mu-PVs and identified two genetic variants of HPV204 and HPV63 and five genetic variants of HPV1.

MeSH terms

  • Genes, Viral*
  • Humans
  • Mupapillomavirus / classification
  • Mupapillomavirus / genetics*
  • Mupapillomavirus / physiology*
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Phylogeny*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Viral Tropism*

Grants and funding

This study is a result of doctoral research and is financially supported by the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), which funded AŠ through the Young Researcher Training Program, and in part by the Slovenian-Argentinian Bilateral Project BI-AR-15-17-005. In addition, LH, AO, and MP obtained funding through the CoheaHr Project (European Commission FP7 Program, grant number: 603019). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.