Virology, Nebraska Center for


Date of this Version



Published in JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY, May 2005, p. 5933–5942 Vol. 79, No. 10. 0022-538X doi:10.1128/JVI.79.10.5933–5942.2005 Copyright © 2005, American Society for Microbiology. Used by permission.


Papillomaviruses contain small double-stranded DNA genomes that are maintained in persistently infected mammalian host epithelia as nuclear plasmids and rely upon the host replication machinery for replication. Papillomaviruses encode a DNA helicase, E1, which can specifically bind to the viral genome and support DNA synthesis. Under some conditions in mammalian cells, E1 is not required for viral DNA synthesis, leading to the hypothesis that papillomavirus DNA can be replicated solely by the host replication machinery. This machinery is highly conserved among eukaryotes. We and others found that papillomavirus DNA could replicate in a simple eukaryote, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Specifically, papillomavirus DNA could substitute for the function of the autonomously replicating sequence (ARS) and centromere (CEN) elements that are normally both required for the stable replication of extrachromosomal DNAs in yeast. Furthermore, this form of replication in yeast was E1 independent. In this study, we map the elements in the human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) genome that can substitute for yeast ARS and CEN elements. A single element, termed rep, was identified that can substitute for ARS, and multiple elements, termed mtc, could substitute for CEN. The location of one of these mtc elements overlaps the location of rep, and this approximately 1,000-bp region of HPV16 was sufficient to support stable replication of a bacterial-yeast shuttle plasmid deleted of both ARS and CEN elements.

Included in

Virology Commons