Role of L2 cysteines in papillomavirus infection and neutralization

Ratish Gambhira, Subhashini Jagu, Balasubramanyam Karanam, Patricia M. Day, Richard Roden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vaccination of mice with minor capsid protein L2 or passive transfer with the L2-specific neutralizing monoclonal antibody RG-1 protects against human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) challenge. Here we explored the nature of the RG-1 epitope and its contribution to viral infectivity. RG-1 bound equivalently HPV16 L2 residues 17-36 with or without an intact C22-C28 disulphide bridge. HPV16 L2 mutations K20A, C22A, C22S, C28A, C28S, or P29A prevented RG-1 binding, whereas Y19A, K23A or Q24A had no impact. Mutation of either C22 or C28 to alanine or serine compromises HPV16 pseudoviral infectivity both in vitro and in the murine vaginal tract, but does not impact pseudovirion assembly. Despite their lack of infectivity, HPV16 pseudovirions containing C22S or C28S mutant L2 bind to cell surfaces, are taken up, and expose the 17-36 region on the virion surface as for wild type HPV16 pseudovirions suggesting normal furin cleavage of L2. Mutation of the second cysteine residue in Bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV1) L2 to serine (C25S) dramatically reduced the infectivity of BPV1 pseudovirions. Surprisingly, in contrast to the double mutation in HPV16 L2, the BPV1 L2 C19S, C25S double mutation reduced BPV1 pseudovirion infectivity of 293TT cells by only half.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number176
JournalVirology Journal
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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