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Equine sarcoids: Bovine Papillomavirus type 1 transformed fibroblasts are sensitive to cisplatin and UVB induced apoptosis and show aberrant expression of p53

Margaret Finlay1, ZhengQiang Yuan2, Iain M Morgan1, M Saveria Campo1 and Lubna Nasir1*

Author Affiliations

1 MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, Institute of Infection, Inflammation and Immunity, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Bearsden Road, Glasgow, Scotland, G61 1QH, United Kingdom

2 Division of Life Sciences, University College, London, 5 University Street, London, WC1E 6JF, United Kingdom

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Veterinary Research 2012, 43:81  doi:10.1186/1297-9716-43-81

Published: 4 December 2012


Bovine papillomavirus type 1 infects not only cattle but also equids and is a causative factor in the pathogenesis of commonly occurring equine sarcoid tumours. Whilst treatment of sarcoids is notoriously difficult, cisplatin has been shown to be one of the most effective treatment strategies for sarcoids. In this study we show that in equine fibroblasts, BPV-1 sensitises cells to cisplatin-induced and UVB-induced apoptosis, a known cofactor for papillomavirus associated disease, however BPV-1 transformed fibroblasts show increased clonogenic survival, which may potentially limit the therapeutic effects of repeated cisplatin treatment. Furthermore we show that BPV-1 increases p53 expression in sarcoid cell lines and p53 expression can be either nuclear or cytoplasmic. The mechanism and clinical significance of increase/abnormal p53 expression remains to be established.