Résumé : To investigate the antineoplastic activity of parvoviruses, proliferating normal human epidermal cells and a series of established keratinocyte cell lines derived from squamous cell carcinomas or transformed in vitro, were compared for the outcome of H-1 virus infection. All established keratinocyte cell lines were more sensitive to killing by H-1 virus than normal epidermal cells, although to varying extents. Using a step-wise procedure for malignant transformation in vitro, we found that sensitization of transformed epidermal cells to H-1 virus can be dissociated from the acquisition of a tumorigenic phenotype. Thus, spontaneously- or SV40-immortalized human keratinocytes were moderately and highly sensitive to H-1 virus, respectively, and could be made tumorigenic by Harvey-ras oncogene transfection without a major change in their susceptibility to the virus. The capacity of human keratinocytes for replicating and expressing H-1 virus DNA appears to be a revealer of cellular alterations that take place in at least some pathways to malignant transformation but that may be insufficient to confer a tumorigenic potential.