Identification of variants and therapeutic epitopes in HPV-33/HPV-58 E6 and E7 in Southwest China.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Human papillomavirus (HPV) E6 and E7 oncoproteins play a crucial role in HPV-related diseases, such as cervical cancer, and can be used as ideal targets for therapeutic vaccines. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) participates in the immune response to block HPV infection and invasion by its target/recognition function. HPV-33 and HPV-58 are highly prevalent among Chinese women. Therefore, it is of great significance to study the E6 and E7 region-specific gene polymorphisms of HPV-33 and HPV-58 in Southwest China and to identify ideal epitopes for vaccine design. Both HPV-33 and HPV-58 belong to ?-9 genus HPV and are highly homologous, so their correlations are included in our research. METHODS:To study the E6 and E7 variations and polymorphisms of HPV-33 and HPV-58 in Southwest China, we collected samples, extracted and sequenced DNA, and identified variants. Nucleotide sequences were translated into amino acids by Mega 6.0 software. The physical/chemical properties, amino acid-conserved sequences and secondary structure of protein sequences were analysed by the Protparam server, ConSurf server and PSIPRED software. The T and B cell epitopes of the E6/E7 reference and variant sequences in HPV-33 and HPV-58 were predicted by the Immune Epitope Database (IEDB) analysis server and the ABCpred server, respectively. RESULTS:Five and seven optimal HLA-I restricted T cell epitopes were selected from HPV-33 and HPV-58 E6, respectively, and these optimal epitopes are mainly located in 41-58EVYDFAFADLTVVYREGN of HPV-33 E6 and 40-60SEVYDFVFADLRIVYRDGNPF of HPV-58 E6. Six optimal HLA-I-restricted T cell epitopes were selected from HPV-33 and HPV-58 E7, and these epitopes are mainly located in 77-90RTIQQLLMGTVNIV of HPV-33 E7 and 78-91RTLQQLLMGTCTIV of HPV-58 E7. CONCLUSIONS:HPV-33/HPV-58 E6/E7 gene polymorphisms and T/B cell epitopes of their reference and variant sequences were studied, and candidate epitopes were selected by bioinformatics techniques for therapeutic vaccine design for people in Southwest China. This study was the first to investigate the correlation of epitopes between HPV-33 and HPV-58. After experimental validation, these selected epitopes will be employed to induce a wide range of immune responses in heterogeneous HLA populations.
Project description:Cancer of the cervix is associated with infection by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). The gene variants differ in immune responses and oncogenic potential. The E6 and E7 proteins encoded by high-risk HPV play a key role in cellular transformation. HPV-33 and HPV-58 types are highly prevalent among Chinese women. To study the gene intratypic variations, polymorphisms and positive selections of HPV-33 and HPV-58 E6/E7 in southwest China, HPV-33 (E6, E7: n = 216) and HPV-58 (E6, E7: n = 405) E6 and E7 genes were sequenced and compared to others submitted to GenBank. Phylogenetic trees were constructed by Maximum-likelihood and the Kimura 2-parameters methods by MEGA 6 (Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis version 6.0). The diversity of secondary structure was analyzed by PSIPred software. The selection pressures acting on the E6/E7 genes were estimated by PAML 4.8 (Phylogenetic Analyses by Maximun Likelihood version4.8) software. The positive sites of HPV-33 and HPV-58 E6/E7 were contrasted by ClustalX 2.1. Among 216 HPV-33 E6 sequences, 8 single nucleotide mutations were observed with 6/8 non-synonymous and 2/8 synonymous mutations. The 216 HPV-33 E7 sequences showed 3 single nucleotide mutations that were non-synonymous. The 405 HPV-58 E6 sequences revealed 8 single nucleotide mutations with 4/8 non-synonymous and 4/8 synonymous mutations. Among 405 HPV-58 E7 sequences, 13 single nucleotide mutations were observed with 10/13 non-synonymous mutations and 3/13 synonymous mutations. The selective pressure analysis showed that all HPV-33 and 4/6 HPV-58 E6/E7 major non-synonymous mutations were sites of positive selection. All variations were observed in sites belonging to major histocompatibility complex and/or B-cell predicted epitopes. K93N and R145 (I/N) were observed in both HPV-33 and HPV-58 E6.
Project description:BACKGROUD:Variations in HPV LCR/E6/E7 have been shown to be associated with the viral persistence and cervical cancer development. So far, there are few reports about the polymorphisms of the HPV-58 LCR/E6/E7 sequences in Southwest China. This study aims to characterize the gene polymorphisms of the HPV-58 LCR/E6/E7 sequences in women of Southwest China, and assess the effects of variations on the immune recognition of viral E6 and E7 antigens. METHODS:Twelve LCR/E6/E7 of the HPV-58 isolates were amplified and sequenced. A neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree was constructed by MEGA 7.0, followed by the secondary structure prediction of the related proteins using PSIPRED v3.3. The selection pressure acting on the HPV-58 E6 and E7 coding regions was estimated by Bayes empirical Bayes analysis of PAML 4.8. Meanwhile, the MHC class-I and II binding peptides were predicted by the ProPred-I server and ProPred server. The transcription factor binding sites in the HPV-58 LCR were analyzed using the JASPAR database. RESULTS:Twenty nine SNPs (20 in the LCR, 3 in the E6, 6 in the E7) were identified at 27 nucleotide sites across the HPV-58 LCR/E6/E7. From the most variable to the least variable, the nucleotide variations were LCR?>?E7?>?E6. The combinations of all the SNPs resulted in 11 unique sequences, which were clustered into the A lineage (7 belong to A1, 2 belong to A2, and 2 belong to A3). An insertion (TGTCAGTTTCCT) was found between the nucleotide sites 7280 and 7281 in 2 variants, and a deletion (TTTAT) was found between 7429 and 7433 in 1 variant. The most common non-synonymous substitution V77A in the E7 was observed in the sequences encoding the ?-helix. 63G in the E7 was determined to be the only one positively selected site in the HPV-58 E6/E7 sequences. Six non-synonymous amino acid substitutions (including S71F and K93 N in the E6, and T20I, G41R, G63S/D, and V77A in the E7) were affecting multiple putative epitopes for both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells. In the LCR, C7265G and C7266T were the most variable sites and were the potential binding sites for the transcription factor SOX10. CONCLUSION:These results provide an insight into the intrinsic geographical relatedness and biological differences of the HPV-58 variants, and contribute to further research on the HPV-58 epidemiology, carcinogenesis, and therapeutic vaccine development.
Project description:Human papillomavirus type 58 (HPV-58) exists in a relatively high prevalence in certain parts of the world, including East Asia. This study examined the T-cell response to HPV-58 L1, E6, and E7 peptides among women with cleared infection, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 (CIN2) or CIN3, or invasive cervical cancer (ICC). Peptides found to be reactive in the in vitro peptide binding assay or mouse-stimulating study were tested with a gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay to detect peptide-specific responses from the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) collected from 91 HPV-58-infected women (32 with cleared infection, 16 CIN2, 15 CIN3, and 28 ICC). Four HLA-A11-restricted HPV-58 L1 peptides, located at amino acid positions 296 to 304, 327 to 335, 101 to 109, and 469 to 477, showed positive IFN-gamma ELISPOT results and were mainly from women with cleared infection. Two HLA-A11-restricted E6 peptides (amino acid positions 64 to 72 and 94 to 102) and three HLA-A11-restricted E7 peptides (amino acid positions 78 to 86, 74 to 82, and 88 to 96) showed a positive response. A response to E6 and E7 peptides was mainly observed from subjects with CIN2 or above. One HLA-A2-restricted E6 peptide, located at amino acid position 99 to 107, elicited a positive response in two CIN2 subjects. One HLA-A24-restricted L1 peptide, located at amino acid position 468 to 476, also elicited a positive response in two CIN2 subjects. In summary, this study has identified a few immunogenic epitopes for HPV-58 E6 and E7 proteins. It is worthwhile to further investigate whether responses to these epitopes have a role in clearing an established cervical lesion.
Project description:Globally, human papillomavirus (HPV)?56 accounts for a small proportion of all high?risk HPV types; however, HPV?56 is detected at a higher rate in Asia, particularly in southwest China. The present study analyzed polymorphisms, intratypic variants, and genetic variability in the long control regions (LCR), E6, E7, and L1 of HPV?56 (n=75). The LCRs, E6, E7 and L1 were sequenced using a polymerase chain reaction and the sequences were submitted to GenBank. Maximum?likelihood trees were constructed using Kimura's two?parameter model, followed by secondary structure analysis and protein damaging prediction. Additionally, in order to assess the effect of variations in the LCR on putative binding sites for cellular proteins, MATCH server was used. Finally, the selection pressures of the E6?E7 and L1 genes were estimated. A total of 18 point substitutions, a 42?bp deletion and a 19?bp deletion of LCR were identified. Some of those mutations are embedded in the putative binding sites for transcription factors. 18 single nucleotide changes occurred in the E6?E7 sequence, 11/18 were non?synonymous substitutions and 7/18 were synonymous mutations. A total 24 single nucleotide changes were identified in the L1 sequence, 6/24 being non?synonymous mutations and 18/24 synonymous mutations. Selective pressure analysis predicted that the majority of mutations of HPV?56 E6, E7 and L1 were of positive selection. The phylogenetic tree demonstrated that the isolates distributed in two lineages. Data on the prevalence and genetic variation of HPV?56 types in southwest China may aid future studies on viral molecular mechanisms and contribute to future investigations of diagnostic probes and therapeutic vaccines.
Project description:The fact that up to 30% of established high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) of the cervix regress spontaneously presents the opportunity to identify clinically relevant human papillomavirus (HPV) viral epitopes associated with disease outcome. Two human HPV antigens, E6 and E7, are functionally required for initiation and maintenance of cervical cancer precursor lesions and invasive cervical cancer. The identification and characterization of endogenously processed HPV antigenic epitopes in closely characterized patient cohorts will provide insight into the reasons for success or failure of therapeutic approaches.We characterized the HPV-16 E6/E7-specific T-cell epitopes using E6/E7 overlapping peptide pools with peripheral blood lymphocytes obtained from normal healthy donors. We then analyzed the difference in the HPV-16 T-cell immune responses in HPV-16+ HSIL patients with or without spontaneous regression of lesions using the statistical methods.We have identified an HPV-16 E7-specific CD4+ T-cell epitope [amino acids (aa) 71-85] that was restricted by HLA-DQB1*0201. Analysis of peripheral blood lymphocytes obtained from 14 HLA-DQB1*02 patients with HPV-16+ HSILs showed that the HPV-16+ E7 peptide (aa 71-85)-specific CD4+ T-cell immune response was significantly higher in the group of patients with regression compared with the patients without regression (P value <0.05).The HPV-16 E7 peptide-specific CD4+ T-cell immune response correlates with spontaneous regression of established HPV16+ HSILs. Thus, this E7 epitope may be useful for the characterization of HPV-specific immune responses in patients infected with HPV-16 or immunized with HPV vaccines.
Project description:Background:Persistent infection with human papillomaviruses (HPVs) has been associated with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cervical cancer. However, why only a fraction of HPV cases progress to cancer is still unclear. Methods:We focused on the heterogeneity, classification, evolution and dispersal of variants for 14 common HPV types in 262 HPV-positive patients with cervical lesions. The E6 and E7 genes of HPV were sequenced and compared with the HPV reference for sequence analysis. Phylogenetic trees were constructed using the neighbour-joining tree method with MEGA 7.0. Results:In this study, 233 E6 and 212 E7 sequences were successfully amplified by PCR, and these sequences were divided into 5 species groups: alpha-9 (HPV16, 31, 33, 52, 58), alpha-5 (HPV51), alpha-6 (HPV53, 66), alpha-7 (HPV18, 39, 59, 68) and alpha-10 (HPV6, 44). The incidence of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) in patients infected with alpha-9 HPV was significantly increased compared with other groups (P <?0.0001), especially HPV16 (P <?0.0001). Strikingly, E7 had significantly fewer nonsynonymous variants in the HSIL compared to <HSIL groups (P =?3.17× 10-?4). The A388C (K93?N) variation in HPV58 E6 can significantly reduce the risk of HSIL (P =?0.015). However, T7220G (D32E) variation in HPV16 E6 and A7689G (N29S) in HPV16 E7 increased the incidence of HSIL compared to the <HSIL group (P =?0.036 and 0.022). Conclusions:Strict conservation of E7 is important for HPV carcinogenicity, especially N29 of HPV16. The findings in this work provide preventative/therapeutic interventions for HPV infections and CIN.
Project description:Human Papillomavirus 16 (HPV-16) has been identified as the causative agent of 50% of cervical cancers and many other HPV-associated tumors. The transforming potential/tumor maintenance capacity of this high risk HPV is mediated by two viral oncoproteins, E6 and E7, making them attractive targets for therapeutic vaccines. Of 21 E6 and E7 peptides computed to bind HLA-A*0201, 10 were confirmed through TAP-deficient T2 cell HLA stabilization assay. Those scoring positive were investigated to ascertain which were naturally processed and presented by surface HLA molecules for CTL recognition. Because IFN? ELISpot frequencies from healthy HPV-exposed blood donors against HLA-A*0201-binding peptides were unable to identify specificities for tumor targeting, their physical presence among peptides eluted from HPV-16-transformed epithelial tumor HLA-A*0201 immunoprecipitates was analyzed by MS(3) Poisson detection mass spectrometry. Only one epitope (E7(11-19)) highly conserved among HPV-16 strains was detected. This 9-mer serves to direct cytolysis by T cell lines, whereas a related 10-mer (E7(11-20)), previously used as a vaccine candidate, was neither detected by MS(3) on HPV-transformed tumor cells nor effectively recognized by 9-mer specific CTL. These data underscore the importance of precisely defining CTL epitopes on tumor cells and offer a paradigm for T cell-based vaccine design.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The molecular epidemiological studies showed that some variants of HPV-16, distributed geographically, would present a higher risk of causing cervical cancer. This study aimed to analyze nucleotide changes of HPV-16 E6 and E7 genomic regions from infected Southwestern Congolese women. METHODS:DNA of twenty HPV-16 isolates was analyzed by amplifying the E6 and E7 genes using type-specific primers PCR and direct sequencing. The sequences obtained were aligned with the HPV-16 GenBank reference sequences. RESULTS:Thirteen (65.0%) out of 20 DNA-samples were successfully amplified. Genetic analysis revealed 18 and 4 nucleotide changes in E6 and E7 genomic regions respectively. The most frequently observed nucleotide variations were the missense C143G, G145T and C335T in E6 (100%), leading to the non-synonymous amino acid variation Q14D and H78Y. E7 genomic region was found to be highly conserved with two most common T789C and T795G (100%) silent variations. All HPV-16 variants identified belonged to the African lineage: 7 (53.8%) belonged to Af-1 lineage and 6 (46.1%) to Af-2 lineage. The missense mutation G622A (D21N) in the E7 region seems to be described for the first time in this study. CONCLUSION:This study reported for the first time the distribution of HPV-16 E6 and E7 genetic variants in infected women from southwest Congo. The findings confirmed almost ascendancy of the African lineage in our study population.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Human papillomavirus type-6 (HPV6) is the major etiological agent of anogenital warts both men and women. The present study aimed to characterize the genetic diversity among HPV6 in Southwest China, and to investigate the origin of, selective pressure experienced by, and impact of the resultantly identified genetic variants on the HPV6 secondary structure. METHODS:Phylogenetic trees were constructed by Maximum-likelihood and the Kimura 2-parameters methods by Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis version 6.0. The diversity of secondary structure was analyzed by PSIPred software. The selection pressures acting on the E6/E7 genes were estimated by Phylogenetic Analyses by Maximum Likelihood version 4.8 software. RESULTS:HPV6 was the most prevalent low risk HPV type in southwest China. In total, 143 E6 and E7 gene sequences of HPV6 isolated from patients were sequenced and compared to GenBank HPV6 reference sequence X00203. The results of these analyses revealed that both the HPV6 E6 and E7 were highly conserved within the analyzed patient samples, and comprised only 3 types of variant sequence, respectively. Furthermore, the analysis of HPV6 E6 and E7 sequences revealed seven/five single-nucleotide mutations, two/four and five/one of which were non-synonymous and synonymous, respectively. The phylogenetic analyses of the E6 and E7 sequences indicated that they belonged to sub-lineage A1 and sub-lineage B1, whereas the selective pressure analyses showed that only the E7 mutation sites 4R, 34E, and 52F were positive selection. CONCLUSIONS:HPV6 (detection rate?=?13.10%) was very prevalent in southwest China, both the HPV6 E6 and E7 sequences were highly conserved within the analyzed patient samples in southwest China, indicating that the low risk HPV6 can adapt to the environment well without much evolution.
Project description:Therapeutic vaccination as a treatment option for HPV-induced cancers is actively pursued because the two HPV proteins E6 and E7 represent ideal targets for immunotherapy, as they are non-self and expressed in all tumor stages. MHC-humanized mice are valuable tools for the study of therapeutic cancer vaccines - given the availability of a suitable tumor model. Here, we present for the first time an HPV16 tumor model suitable for fully MHC-humanized A2.DR1 mice, PAP-A2 cells, which in contrast to existing HPV16 tumor models allows the exclusive study of HLA-A2- and DR1-mediated immune responses, without any interfering murine MHC-presented epitopes. We used several HPV16 epitopes that were shown to be presented on human cervical cancer cells by mass spectrometry for therapeutic anti-tumor vaccination in the new tumor model. All epitopes were immunogenic when rendered amphiphilic by incorporation into a molecule containing stearic acids. Prophylactic and therapeutic vaccination experiments with the epitope E7/11-19 demonstrated that effective immune responses could be induced with these vaccination approaches in A2.DR1 mice. Interestingly, the combination of E7/11-19 with other immunogenic HPV16 E6/E7 epitopes caused a reduction of vaccine efficacy, although all tested combinations resulted in a survival benefit. In summary, we present the first HPV16 tumor model for exclusive studies of HLA-A2-mediated anti-HPV tumor immune responses and show anti-tumor efficacy of minimal epitope vaccines.