Changing stem cell dynamics during papillomavirus infection: Potential roles for cellular plasticity in the viral lifecycle and disease
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Stem cells and cellular plasticity are likely important components of tissue response to infection. There is emerging evidence that stem cells harbor receptors for common pathogen motifs and that they are receptive to local inflammatory signals in ways suggesting that they are critical responders that determine the balance between health and disease. In the field of papillomaviruses stem cells have been speculated to play roles during the viral life cycle, particularly during maintenance, and virus-promoted carcinogenesis but little has been conclusively determined. I summarize here evidence that gives clues to the potential role of stem cells and cellular plasticity in the lifecycle papillomavirus and linked carcinogenesis. I also discuss outstanding questions which need to be resolved. © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.