Mouse papillomavirus type 1 (MmuPV1) provides, for the first time, the opportunity to study infection and pathogenesis of papillomaviruses in the context of laboratory mice. In this report, we define the transcriptome of MmuPV1 genome present in papillomas arising in experimentally infected mice using a combination of RNA-seq, PacBio Iso-seq, 5' RACE, 3' RACE, primer-walking RT-PCR, RNase protection, Northern blot and in situ hybridization analyses. We demonstrate that the MmuPV1 genome is transcribed unidirectionally from five major promoters (P) or transcription start sites (TSS) and polyadenylates its transcripts at two major polyadenylation (pA) sites. We designate the P7503, P360 and P859 as "early" promoters because they give rise to transcripts mostly utilizing the polyadenylation signal at nt 3844 and therefore can only encode early genes, and P7107 and P533 as "late" promoters because they give rise to transcripts utilizing polyadenylation signals at either nt 3844 or nt 7047, the latter being able to encode late, capsid proteins. MmuPV1 genome contains five splice donor sites and three acceptor sites that produce thirty-six RNA isoforms deduced to express seven predicted early gene products (E6, E7, E1, E1^M1, E1^M2, E2 and E8^E2) and three predicted late gene products (E1^E4, L2 and L1). The majority of the viral early transcripts are spliced once from nt 757 to 3139, while viral late transcripts, which are predicted to encode L1, are spliced twice, first from nt 7243 to either nt 3139 (P7107) or nt 757 to 3139 (P533) and second from nt 3431 to nt 5372. Thirteen of these viral transcripts were detectable by Northern blot analysis, with the P533-derived late E1^E4 transcripts being the most abundant. The late transcripts could be detected in highly differentiated keratinocytes of MmuPV1-infected tissues as early as ten days after MmuPV1 inoculation and correlated with detection of L1 protein and viral DNA amplification. In mature warts, detection of L1 was also found in more poorly differentiated cells, as previously reported. Subclinical infections were also observed. The comprehensive transcription map of MmuPV1 generated in this study provides further evidence that MmuPV1 is similar to high-risk cutaneous beta human papillomaviruses. The knowledge revealed will facilitate the use of MmuPV1 as an animal virus model for understanding of human papillomavirus gene expression, pathogenesis and immunology.
Journal: PLoS pathogens