Non-enveloped. Small, icosahedral, about 52-55 nm in size. A single molecule of circular dsDNA is contained within the T=7 icosahedral capsid, which is composed of 72 pentamers.
Circular dsDNA, about 8 kb in size, associated with cellular histones. A true E7 ORF is absent.
Only one strand of the genome is transcribed and yield two classes of proteins expressed by alternative splicing:
a) Early Proteins: non-structural regulatory proteins (E1-E6).
b) Late Proteins: the structural proteins L1 and L2.
a) The takes place in the basal squamous epithelial cells. It corresponds to viral DNA replication in synchrony with the host cell chromosome in order to ensures an average of one viral genome per basal cell.
- Attachment of the viral proteins to host receptors mediates endocytosis into vesicles in the basal squamous epithelial cell.
- Transport to the nucleus and uncoating of the viral DNA.
- Early-region transcription and translation of the early proteins.
- Steady-state viral DNA nuclear replication. Requires the origin of DNA replication in cis and the viral E1 and E2 proteins in trans.
- Vegetative viral DNA synthesis.
- Transcription of the late region.
- Capsid proteins L1 and L2 synthesis.
- Nuclear capsid assembly and release of viruses.