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The evolutionary history of oncogenic and non-oncogenic papillomaviruses

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 ONCOGENEVOL project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the ONCOGENEVOL project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "ONCOGENEVOL" about.

human    relationships    e7    pv    deep    origin    dna    experimentally    explore    fraction    lab    lesions    tumor    appearance    functions    asymptomatic    sharing    share    thereafter    wet    roots    paving    oropharynx    benign    virtually    unfortunate    back    clinical    responsible    efforts    vulva    host    infection    few    hypotheses    proteins    modern    ancestral    medicine    despite    acquiring    became    small    health    evolution    certain    events    anal    combining    ultimate    evolutionary    pvs    function    immune    arose    e6    species    integration    regarding    humans    hosts    silico    e5    enigma    exception    suppressor    fragmentary    environmental    vagina    resurrected    penis    carcinogenesis    genome    oncogene    occurred    generate    cervical    directed    contexts    acquired    emergence    infections    encode    scenario    proto    domains    viruses    public    cancer    history    understand    wart    actually    genes    tracking    papillomaviruses    cancers    oncogenes    resurrect    evade    allowed    oncogenic    manifestations    phenotype    alphapv    ancestor   

Project "ONCOGENEVOL" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: RUE MICHEL ANGE 3
city: PARIS
postcode: 75794

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country France [FR]
 Project website
 Total cost 185˙076 €
 EC max contribution 185˙076 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2016
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-06-01   to  2019-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Certain papillomaviruses (PVs) are a major public health concern as in humans they are responsible for virtually all cases of cervical and anal cancer, and for a fraction of cancers on the penis, vagina, vulva and oropharynx. But oncogenic PVs are actually an unfortunate exception, as most PVs cause asymptomatic infections, and a few cause benign, wart-like lesions. Despite the efforts directed towards the understanding of the different clinical manifestations of infection, our knowledge on PV evolution remains fragmentary. Oncogenic human PVs arose recently, after acquiring the E5, E6 and E7 genes. The integration of the E5 proto-oncogene in the ancestral AlphaPV genome allowed viruses to evade host immune response. Thereafter E6 and E7 acquired the ability to target essential tumor suppressor proteins, paving the way for carcinogenesis. Tracking the evolutionary history of the E5, E6 and E7 oncogenes will thus help understand the emergence of oncogenic human PVs. Regarding the deep roots of PVs, small DNA viruses may share a common ancestor as they encode proteins sharing similar functions and domains, but their evolutionary origin is still an enigma. Here I propose to apply an evolutionary medicine approach, combining in silico and wet-lab approaches, to study key events that occurred during PV genome evolution. We will go back into history and study how and when certain PVs became oncogenic. We will resurrect the ancestral oncogenes, and experimentally test hypotheses about the function of the resurrected proteins in different environmental contexts. We will then generate a comprehensive scenario modelling the appearance of the modern PV genome and the emergence of the oncogenic phenotype of certain PVs. Finally we will explore the relationships between small DNA viruses and test whether they may have a common origin. Our ultimate aim is to understand why a few PVs are oncogenic for a few host species, while most PVs cause asymptomatic infections in most hosts.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Anouk Willemsen, Marta Félez-Sánchez, Ignacio G Bravo
Genome Plasticity in Papillomaviruses and De Novo Emergence of E5 Oncogenes
published pages: 1602-1617, ISSN: 1759-6653, DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evz095
Genome Biology and Evolution 11/6 2019-09-02
2019 Anouk Willemsen, Ignacio G. Bravo
Origin and evolution of papillomavirus (onco)genes and genomes
published pages: 20180303, ISSN: 0962-8436, DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2018.0303
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 374/1773 2019-06-06

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