Human papillomavirus genotypes and HPV16 variants in penile carcinoma

Maria Lina Tornesello, Maria Luisa Duraturo, Simona Losito, Gerardo Botti, Silvana Pilotti, Bernardina Stefanon, Giuseppe De Palo, Antonio Gallo, Luigi Buonaguro, Franco M. Buonaguro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The causative role of human papillomaviruses (HPV) and HPV16 variants has been extensively studied in uterine cervix dysplastic lesions and invasive carcinoma; few such studies, however, have been performed in penile tumors. We have investigated HPV genotype and HPV16 variant distribution on 41 penile cancer biopsies from Italian patients. Cases were extracted from the respective pathology departments databases of National Cancer Institutes in Naples and Milan. HPV sequences were detected by PCR and characterized by direct sequence analysis. Among the 19 HPV-positive cases (46.3%) 2 viral genotypes were identified (HPV16 and 18) with HPV16 accounting for 94.7% (18 out of 19) of the infections. Sequence analysis of E6, E7 genes and long control region (LCR) of 18 HPV16 isolates allowed the identification of European (E-G-350) and non-European (AA and Af-1) variants in 44.4% and in 55.6% of the samples, respectively. The AA variant alone represented 44.4% of all HPV16 infections, a significantly higher frequency of that observed in cervical carcinoma from Italian women (Tornesello et al., J Med Virol 2004;74:117-26). Our results suggest that HPV16 has a very high prevalence among penile cancer patients in Italy and the increased frequency of HPV16 non-European classes, particularly the AA, suggests that they are more oncogenic than European variants in penile tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-137
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2008


  • HPV16 variants
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Italy
  • Oncogenic potential
  • Penile squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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