Human papillomavirus (HPV) type 52 from a cervical carcinoma in Indonesia was molecularly cloned and characterized. By hybridization with cervical carcinoma DNAs from Indonesian patients, HPV 52 was detected in 3 of 52 cases (6%), whereas HPV 16 and 18 were detected in 8 and 7 cases, respectively (15% and 13%). Sequence analysis revealed that the E6‐E7 ORFs contained several DNA binding motifs (Cys‐X‐X‐Cys) like previously sequenced HPVs. The E6 ORF also contained splice donor and acceptor signals, which may allow the expression of E6* protein. The E7 ORF encoded an amino acid sequence that is conserved in some DNA tumor viruses and is involved in binding to Rb protein and in cellular transformation. Transfection of a subgenomic fragment of HPV 52 under the control of a heterologous promoter showed that the E7 ORF alone induced anchorage‐independent growth of established rodent cells and immortalized primary rat embryo fibroblasts (REF), and that In cooperation with activated ras, it induced malignant transformation of REF. The E6 ORF also induced, less efficiently, anchorage‐independent growth. These results strongly suggest that HPV 52, like HPV 16 and 18, has oncogenic potential.