Type-specific and cross-reactive epitopes in human papillomavirus type 16 capsid proteins

Barbara K. Beiss, Edgar Heimer, Arthur Felix, Robert D. Burk, Diane B. Ritter, Robert G. Mallon, Anna Skadish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 infection is frequently associated with cancer of the uterine cervix, as well as with precancerous lesions. In order to generate serologic reagents which might be useful in the diagnosis of HPV 16 infection, rabbit polyclonal and mouse monoclonal antisera were raised to car{ballot box}y terminal peptides from the HPV 16 L1 and L2 open reading frames (ORFs). Anti-L1 and -L2 peptide sera recognized HPV 16 L1 and L2 fusion proteins in Western blots and by immunoprecipitation. In Western blot analysis of L1 proteins from different HPV types, antisera to the L1 peptide reacted only with HPV 16, thus identifying an HPV 16 type-specific linear epitope. Anti-L2 peptide sera reacted with L2 fusion proteins from HPVs 6 and 16, but not from BPV, thus identifying a partially cross-reactive epitope in the HPV 16 L2. Computer analysis of car{ballot box}y terminal amino acid sequences of the L1 and L2 ORFs of multiple HPV types supported the Western blot findings. Despite the HPV 16 type specificity found in Western blots, anti-L1 peptide sera identified nuclear antigen by immunocytochemistry in cervical biopsies infected with HPV 16, as well as other genital HPV types. Anti-L2 peptide sera failed to recognize antigen in infected tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-464
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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