Activation of the late promoter (PL) of bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV-1) is dependent on the differentiation state of keratinocytes and occurs in the upper layers of the bovine fibropapilloma. In this study, we show by in situ hybridization that a differentiation-specific pattern of BPV-1 late RNA splicing is also seen in the fibropapilloma. RNAs containing the 7385/3605 and 3764/5609 splice junctions were confined to the granular cell layer. In contrast, RNAs containing the 7385/3225 splice junction were present in both the granular and spinous layers. The switch in splice site usage in the granular cell layer limits the expression of the mRNA encoding the major capsid protein to these most terminally differentiated cells. Thus, BPV-1 late mRNA expression is regulated at both transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels
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