Cathepsin L (CatL) and cathepsin B (CatB) are lysosomal proteases that many viruses utilize for capsid disassembly. We tested whether CatL and CatB are required for infection by human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16). CatL and CatB-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts had higher levels of infection when compared with wild-type cells. Similar results were obtained in HaCaT keratinocytes treated with CatL or CatB-specific small interfering RNA. Thus, CatL and CatB are not required for HPV16 infection but instead appear to restrict infection.
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