Genital warts (condylomata acuminata) are among the most frequent sexually transmitted infections. Human papillomavirus type 6 (HPV-6), which is etiologically related to a majority of these lesions, has not been propagated in tissue culture. We generated two forms of HPV-6 viral antigens: a chemically synthesized oligopeptide (referred to as the C-terminal synthetic peptide) corresponding to residues 482 to 495 of the 500-amino-acid-long L1 open reading frame (ORF), and a bacterially expressed 54-kilodalton (kDa) fusion protein containing the N-terminal 13 amino acids encoded by the lambda bacteriophage cII gene followed by one vector-insert junctional residue and 462 amino acids of the L1 ORF sequence (residues 39 to 500). The cII-L1 fusion protein was specifically recognized by an antipeptide serum directed against the N-terminal 13 amino acids derived from the cII gene, an antiserum raised against the C-terminal synthetic peptide, and a genus-specific serum prepared by immunization with disrupted viral capsids. The 54-kDa fusion protein was purified, and the sequence of its first 36 amino acids was determined and found to be as predicted by the DNA sequence. Both the genus-specific anticapsid serum and antiserum raised against the fusion protein identified authentic L1 ORF proteins in HPV-1-induced (58 kDa) and HPV-6/11-induced (56 kDa) papillomas. The synthetic peptide antiserum recognized the 56- to 58-kDa protein in HPV-6-induced warts, but not in HPV-1- or HPV-11-infected specimens. Using the fusion protein as antigen in immunoassays, we were able to detect the corresponding antibodies in human sera.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science