Establishment and Characterization of Immortalized Human Dermal Papilla Cells Expressing Human Papillomavirus 16 E6/E7

J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2024 Mar 28;34(3):506-515. doi: 10.4014/jmb.2310.10035. Epub 2023 Nov 17.


Primary human dermal papilla cells (HDPCs) are often preferred in studies on hair growth and regeneration. However, primary HDPCs are limited by their reduced proliferative capacity, decreased hair induction potential, and extended doubling times at higher passages. To overcome these limitations, pTARGET vectors containing human papillomavirus16 (HPV16) E6/E7 oncogenes were transfected into HDPCs and selected using G-148 to generate immortalized cells here. HPV16 E6/E7 oncogenes were efficiently transfected into primary HDPCs. Immortalized HDPC showed higher proliferative activity than primary HDPC, confirming an increased proliferation rate. Expression of p53 and pRb proteins was downregulated by E6 and E7, respectively. E6/E7 expressing HDPC cells revealed that cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p21 expression was decreased, while cell cycle-related genes and proteins (CDK2 and cyclin E) and E2F family genes were upregulated. Immortalized HDPCs maintained their responsiveness to Wnt/β-catenin pathway and hair follicle formation capability, as indicated by their aggregative properties and stemness. E6/E7 immortalized HDPCs may facilitate in vitro hair growth and regeneration studies.

Keywords: E6/E7; Human dermal papilla cell; Wnt/β-catenin; hair follicle formation; human papillomavirus 16; immortalization.

MeSH terms

  • Human papillomavirus 16* / genetics
  • Human papillomavirus 16* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral* / genetics
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral* / metabolism
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / metabolism
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins / genetics


  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins