Expression optimization of a cell membrane-penetrating human papillomavirus type 16 therapeutic vaccine candidate in Nicotiana benthamiana.
ABSTRACT: High-risk human papillomaviruses (hr-HPVs) cause cervical cancer, the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide. A HPV-16 candidate therapeutic vaccine, LALF32-51-E7, was developed by fusing a modified E7 protein to a bacterial cell-penetrating peptide (LALF): this elicited both tumour protection and regression in pre-clinical immunization studies. In the current study, we investigated the potential for producing LALF32-51-E7 in a plant expression system by evaluating the effect of subcellular localization and usage of different expression vectors and gene silencing suppressors. The highest expression levels of LALF32-51-E7 were obtained by using a self-replicating plant expression vector and chloroplast targeting, which increased its accumulation by 27-fold compared to cytoplasmic localization. The production and extraction of LALF32-51-E7 was scaled-up and purification optimized by affinity chromatography. If further developed, this platform could potentially allow for the production of a more affordable therapeutic vaccine for HPV-16. This would be extremely relevant in the context of developing countries, where cervical cancer and other HPV-related malignancies are most prevalent, and where the population have limited or no access to preventative vaccines due to their typical high costs.
Project description:The E6 and E7 proteins are the major oncogenic drivers encoded by high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs). While many aspects of the transforming activities of these proteins have been extensively studied, there are fewer studies that have investigated how HPV E6/E7 expression affects the expression of cellular noncoding RNAs. The goal of our study was to investigate HPV16 E6/E7 modulation of cellular microRNA (miR) levels and to determine the potential consequences for cellular gene expression. We performed deep sequencing of small and large cellular RNAs in primary undifferentiated cultures of human foreskin keratinocytes (HFKs) with stable expression of HPV16 E6/E7 or a control vector. After integration of the two data sets, we identified 51 differentially expressed cellular miRs associated with the modulation of 1,456 potential target mRNAs in HPV16 E6/E7-expressing HFKs. We discovered that the degree of differential miR expression in HFKs expressing HPV16 E6/E7 was not necessarily predictive of the number of corresponding mRNA targets or the potential impact on gene expression. Additional analyses of the identified miR-mRNA pairs suggest modulation of specific biological activities and biochemical pathways. Overall, our study supports the model that perturbation of cellular miR expression by HPV16 E6/E7 importantly contributes to the rewiring of cellular regulatory circuits by the high-risk HPV E6 and E7 proteins that contribute to oncogenic transformation.<h4>Importance</h4>High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are the causative agents of almost all cervical cancers and many other cancers, including anal, vaginal, vulvar, penile, and oropharyngeal cancers. Despite the availability of efficacious HPV vaccines, it is critical to determine how HPVs cause cancer, as many people remain unvaccinated and the vaccine does not prevent cancer development in individuals who are already infected. Two HPV proteins, E6 and E7, are the major drivers of cancer development, and much remains to be learned about how the expression of these viral proteins reprograms infected cells, ultimately resulting in cancer development. Small, noncoding human RNAs, termed microRNAs (miRs), regulate gene expression and have been implicated in almost all human cancers, including HPV-associated cancers. Our study provides a comprehensive analysis of how E6 and E7 alter the expression of human miRs and how this potentially impacts cellular gene expression, which may contribute to cancer development.
Project description:PURPOSE:Women with human papilloma virus (HPV)-associated cervical neoplasia have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than the general female population. The purpose of this study was to (i) identify high-risk HPVs in cervical neoplasia and subsequent HPV positive breast cancers which developed in the same patients and (ii) determine if these HPVs were biologically active. METHODS:A range of polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical techniques were used to conduct a retrospective cohort study of cervical precancers and subsequent breast cancers in the same patients. RESULTS:The same high-risk HPV types were identified in both the cervical and breast specimens in 13 (46%) of 28 patients. HPV type 18 was the most prevalent. HPVs appeared to be biologically active as demonstrated by the expression of HPV E7 proteins and the presence of HPV-associated koilocytes. The average age of these patients diagnosed with breast cancer following prior cervical precancer was 51?years, as compared to 60?years for all women with breast cancer (p for difference?=?0.001). CONCLUSION:These findings indicate that high-risk HPVs can be associated with cervical neoplasia and subsequent young age breast cancer. However, these associations are unusual and are a very small proportion of breast cancers. These outcomes confirm and extend the observations of two similar previous studies and offer one explanation for the increased prevalence of serious invasive breast cancer among young women.
Project description:Cervical cancer is a common type of cancer among women worldwide and infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPVs) types represents the major risk factor for the etiopathogenesis of the disease. HPV-16 is the most frequently identified HPV type in cervical lesions and expression of E6 and E7 oncoproteins is required for the uncontrolled cellular proliferation. In the present study we report the design and experimental testing of a recombinant multi-epitope protein containing immunogenic epitopes of HPV-16 E6 and E7. Tumor preventive assays, based on the engraftment of TC-1 cells in mice, showed that the E6E7 multi-epitope protein induced a full preventive anti-tumor protection in wild-type mice, as well as in mice deficient in expression of CD4+ T cells and TLR4 receptor. Nonetheless, no anti-tumor protection was observed in mice deficient in CD8+ T cells. Also, the vaccine promoted high activation of E6/E7-specific T cells and in a therapeutic-approach, E6E7 protein conferred full anti-tumor protection in mice. These results show a potential use of this E6E7 multi-epitope antigen as a new and promising antigen for the development of a therapeutic vaccine against tumors induced by HPV.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Human papilloma viruses (HPVs) may act early in breast oncogenesis ("hit-and-run" phenomena).<h4>Methods</h4>The authors used immunohistochemistry for the identification of HPV E7 oncogenic protein expression in 32 sets of benign and subsequent breast cancer specimens from the same Australian patients.<h4>Results</h4>HPV E7 oncoprotein was clearly expressed in the nuclei of 23 (72%) of the 32 benign specimens and 20 (62.5%) of the subsequent 32 breast cancer specimens in the same patients. There was no HPV E7 protein expression in seven (30%) of the 23 breast cancer specimens that had prior HPV E7 protein-positive benign breast biopsies in the same patients.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This observation suggests that HPV oncogenic influences occur early in some breast cancers. This finding confirms the previous observations. This early influence of HPVs may be the reason why there is no increase in the prevalence of HPV-associated breast cancer in immunocompromised patients as compared to HPV-associated cervical cancer.
Project description:Persistent infection with high-risk Human Papillomavirus (HPVs) is associated with the development of cervical cancer. The transforming capacity of these viruses relies on the cooperative action of the E6 and E7 viral oncoproteins. Among the oncogenic activities of E6, the interaction and interference with cell polarity PDZ proteins have been well established. One of the most characterized PDZ targets of HPV E6 is human Disc large 1 (DLG1), a scaffolding protein involved in the control of cell polarity and proliferation. Interestingly, in cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions, alterations in DLG1 expression were observed in association to tumour progression. Moreover, the expression of both HPV E6 and E7 proteins may be responsible for the changes in DLG1 abundance and cell localization observed in the HPV-associated lesions. Due to the relevance of DLG1 deregulation in tumour development, we have performed an in-depth investigation of the expression of DLG1 in the presence of the HPV oncoproteins in epithelial cultured cells. The effects of HPV E6 and E7 proteins on DLG1 abundance and subcellular localization were assessed by western blot and confocal fluorescence microscopy, respectively. We demonstrated that the relative abundance of HPV-18 E6 and DLG1 is a key factor that contributes to defining the expression abundance of both proteins. We also show here that a high expression level of DLG1 may negatively affect HPV-18 E6 nuclear expression. Moreover, the co-expression of HPV-18 E6 and E7 produces a striking effect on DLG1 subcellular localization and a co-distribution in the cytoplasmic region. Interestingly, HPV-18 E7 is also able to increase DLG1 levels, likely by rescuing it from the E6-mediated proteasomal degradation. In general, the data suggest that HPV-18 E6 and E7 may have opposing activities in regards to the regulation of DLG1 levels and may cooperatively contribute to its subcellular redistribution in the HPV context. These findings constitute a step forward in understanding the differential expression of DLG1 during tumour progression in an HPV-associated model.
Project description:Keratinocyte infection with high-risk human papillomavirus genotypes has been linked to cancer development. In cervix, the alpha HPV16 and HPV18 have been reported as the mayor causative agents of cervical cancer. Oncogenic progression and chronic inflammation are closely related processes, with IL-6 as one of the main pro-inflammatory cytokines involved. However, there are limited studies about the regulation of IL-6 by low and high risk HPVs and the HPV proteins implicated in this modulation. In this work, we report the overexpression of IL-6 in HPV infected cervical cancer derived cell lines (HeLa and SiHa) compared to non-tumorigenic keratinocytes (HaCaT), and in Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia grade 1 HPV16 and HPV18 positive cervical samples compared to HPV negative samples without lesions. Moreover, we generated HaCaT keratinocytes that express E5, E6, and E7 from high risk (16 or 18) or low risk (62 and 84) HPVs. E5 proteins do not modify IL-6 expression, while E7 modestly increase it. Interestingly, E6 proteins in HaCaT cells upregulate IL-6 mRNA expression and protein secretion. Indeed, in HaCaT cells that express high risk HPV16E6 or HPV18E6 proteins, only the truncated E6<sup>*</sup> isoforms were expressed, showing the stronger IL-6 overexpression, while in HaCaT cells that express low risk HPV62 and HPV84 full length E6 proteins, IL-6 was also upregulated but not so drastically. Since HaCaT cells have a mutated p53 form that is not degraded by the introduction of E6 or E6/E7, it seems that E6/E7 regulate IL-6 by an additional mechanism independent of p53. In addition, basal keratinocytes showed a strong expression of IL-6R using immunohistochemistry, suggesting an autocrine mechanism over proliferative cells. Altogether, IL-6 cytokine expression in keratinocytes is upregulated by E6 and E7 proteins from HPVs 16, 18, 62, and 84, especially by high risk HPV16 and HPV18 E6<sup>*</sup>, which may contribute to promote a pro-inflammatory and highly proliferative microenvironment that can persist over time and lead to cervical tumorigenesis.
Project description:Recent advances in immunotherapy against cancer underscore the importance of T lymphocytes and tumor microenvironment, but few vaccines targeting cancer have been approved likely due in part to the dearth of common tumor antigens, insufficient immunogenicity and the evolution of immune evasion mechanisms during the progression to malignancy. Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are the primary etiologic agents of cervical cancer and progression from persistent HPV-infection to cervical intraepithelial lesions and eventually cancer requires persistent expression of the oncoproteins E6 and E7. This offers the opportunity to specifically target these virus-specific antigens for vaccine-induced clearance of infected cells before cancers develop. Here we have evaluated the immunogenicity of Adenovirus Types 26 and 35 derived vectors expressing a fusion of HPV16 E6 and E7 oncoproteins after intramuscular (IM) and/or intravaginal (Ivag) immunization in mice. The adenovirus vectors were shown to transduce an intact cervicovaginal epithelium. IM prime followed by Ivag boost maximized the induction and trafficking of HPV-specific CD8+ T cells producing IFN-? and TNF-? to the cervicovaginal tract. Importantly, the cervicovaginal CD8+ T cells expressed CD69 and CD103; hallmarks of intraepithelial tissue-resident memory CD8+ T cells. This prime-boost strategy targeting heterologous locations also induced circulating HPV-specific CD8+ T cell responses. Our study prompts further evaluation of Ivag immunization with adenoviral vectors expressing modified E6 and E7 antigens for therapeutic vaccination against persistent HPV infection and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.
Project description:Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are the causative factor for >90% of cervical cancers and 25% of head and neck cancers. The incidence of HPV positive (+) head and neck squamous cell carcinomas has greatly increased in the last 30 years. E6 and E7 are the two key viral oncoproteins that induce and propagate cellular transformation. An immune response generated during cisplatin/radiation therapy improves tumor clearance of HPV(+) cancers. Augmenting this induced response during therapy with an adenoviral HPV16 E6/E7 vaccine improves long-term survival in pre-clinical models. Here, we describe the generation of an HPV16 E6/E7 construct, which contains mutations that render E6/E7 non-oncogenic, while preserving antigenicity. These mutations do not allow E6/E7 to degrade p53, pRb, PTPN13, or activate telomerase. Non-oncogenic E6/E7 (E6(?)/E7(?)) expressed as a stable integrant, or in the [E1-, E2b-] adenovirus, lacks the ability to transform human cells while retaining the ability to induce an HPV-specific immune response. Moreover, E6(?)/E7(?) plus chemotherapy/radiation statistically enhances clearance of established HPV(+) cancer in vivo.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted disease, is involved in a series of other diseases. The persistent infection of high-risk HPVs (HR-HPVs) is considered to be the causative agent of cervical cancer, and it is related to noncervical cancers. The present study aims to estimate the HPV prevalence and genotype distribution in Jilin province, China, to guide HPV-related cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination. METHODS:From October 2017 to September 2019, 21,282 samples (634 male and 20,648 female) were collected for HPV infection detection using an HPV genotyping panel. The age-related HPV prevalence and morbidity of HPV-based disease and HPV prevalence associated with specific diseases were analyzed. RESULTS:A total of 7095 (34.4%) positive for HPV infection of 20648 women, and 164 (25.8%) positive of 634 men. The HPV prevalence among women exhibited a bimodal pattern, with a peak in young group and a second peak in old group, with increased severity of cervical lesions. HPV16 (7.8%), HPV52 (5.8%), HPV58 (5.0%), HPV53 (3.4%), and HPV51 (3.0%) were the most prevalent genotypes among women, and HPV6 (6.0%), HPV11 (5.7%), HPV16 (3.6%), HPV18 (2.7%), and HPV51 (3.0%) were prevalent among men. Non-vaccine-covered HPV53 and 51 were found in 6.3% of HPV infection and 8.9% of cervical cancer in Jilin province. Furthermore, 45.5% of females and 28.6% of males with genital warts were infected with HR-HPV genotypes. CONCLUSION:The HPV genotypic spectrum in Jilin province, where non-vaccine-covered HPV53 and 51 were prevalent, exhibited an age- and cervical lesion-specific pattern, which provides guidance for HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening. HPV infection in men and benign hyper-proliferative lesions should not be neglected.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main etiological agent of cervical cancer, the third most common cancer among women globally and the second most frequent in Mexico. Persistent infection with high-risk HPV genotypes is associated with premalignant lesions and cervical cancer development. HPVs considered as low risk or not yet classified, are often found in coinfection with different HPV genotypes. Indeed, HPV62 is one of the most prevalent HPV detected in some countries, but there is limited information about its prevalence in other regions and there are no HPV62 variants currently described. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of HPV62 in cervical samples from Mexican women and to identify mutations in the L1, E6 and E7 genes, which have never been reported in our population. METHODS:HPV screening was performed by Cobas HPV Test in women who attended prevention health programs and dysplasia clinics. All HPV positive samples (n?=?491) and 87 additional cervical cancer samples were then genotyped with Linear Array HPV Genotyping test. Some samples were selected to corroborate genotyping by Next-Generation sequencing. On the other hand, nucleotide changes in L1, E6 and E7 genes were determined using PCR, Sanger sequencing and analysis with the CLC-MainWorkbench 7.6.1 software. L1 protein structure was predicted with the I-TASSER server. RESULTS:Using Linear Array, HPV62 prevalence was 7.6% in general population, 8% in Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia grade 1 (CIN1) samples and 4.6% in cervical samples. The presence of HPV62 was confirmed with Next-Generation sequencing. Regarding L1 gene, novel sequence variations were detected, but they did not alter the tertiary structure of the protein. Moreover, several nucleotide substitutions were found in E6 and E7 genes compared to reference HPV62 genomic sequence. Specifically, three non-synonymous sequence variations were detected, two in E6 and one in E7. CONCLUSIONS:HPV62 is a frequent HPV genotype found mainly in general population and in women with CIN1, and in 90.5% of the cases it was found in coinfection with other HPVs. Novel nucleotide changes in its L1, E6 and E7 genes were detected, some of them lead to changes in the protein sequence.