The role of viral integration in the development of cervical cancer

Tingxi Yu, Matthew J. Ferber, Tak Hong Cheung, Tong Kwok Hung Chung, Yick Fu Wong, David I. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The development of invasive cervical cancer is associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and subsequent integration into the host epithelium. More than 99% of cervical cancers contain HPV sequences, and many of these contain a truncated HPV genome integrated into a single position within the host genome. Studies examining the role of viral integration in cervical cancer development have found that the sites of integration appear randomly distributed throughout the genome. This, and the observation that it frequently takes years after HPV infection for cervical cancer to develop, has led to the current paradigm that the site of HPV integrations is unimportant to the invasive cervical cancer that eventually develops. In our previous studies of HPV16 and HPV18 integration in cervical cancers, we also found integrations throughout the genome, but observed as well that more than half of the integrations occurred within common fragile site regions. To determine if HPV integration might play an important role in cervical cancer, we conducted two complementary studies. We first localized 40 new HPV16 integration sites from cervical tumors from women in Hong Kong; this, together with previous integration studies, provided a better picture of the distribution of integration sites throughout the genome. We then analyzed the sites of viral integration in an in vitro model of HPV integration. By comparing the sites of HPV integration in vivo (in multiple primary cervical tumors) to those obtained in vitro, the data can help to determine if HPV integrations observed in vivo are the result of random and nonselected integrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Genetics and Cytogenetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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