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Genome-Wide Tiling Array Analysis of HPV-Induced Warts Reveals Aberrant Methylation of Protein-Coding and Non-Coding Regions

  • al-eitan, laith n.
  • alghamdi, mansour a.
  • tarkhan, amneh h.
  • al-qarqaz, firas a.
Publication Date
Dec 27, 2019
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The human papillomaviruses (HPV) are a group of double-stranded DNA viruses that exhibit an exclusive tropism for squamous epithelia. HPV can either be low- or high-risk depending on its ability to cause benign lesions or cancer, respectively. Unsurprisingly, the majority of epigenetic research has focused on the high-risk HPV types, neglecting the low-risk types in the process. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to better understand the epigenetics of wart formation by investigating the differences in methylation between HPV-induced cutaneous warts and normal skin. A number of clear and very significant differences in methylation patterns were found between cutaneous warts and normal skin. Around 55% of the top-ranking 100 differentially methylated genes in warts were protein coding, including the EXOC4, KCNU, RTN1, LGI1, IRF2, and NRG1 genes. Additionally, non-coding RNA genes, such as the AZIN1-AS1, LINC02008, and MGC27382 genes, constituted 11% of the top-ranking 100 differentially methylated genes. Warts exhibited a unique pattern of methylation that is a possible explanation for their transient nature. Since the genetics of cutaneous wart formation are not completely known, the findings of the present study could contribute to a better understanding of how HPV infection modulates host methylation to give rise to warts in the skin.

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