Introduction: Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is seen in up to 90% of cases of cervical cancer, the third leading cancer cause of death in women. Current HPV screening focuses on only two HPV types and covers roughly 75% of HPV-associated cervical cancers. A protein based assay to test for antibody biomarkers against 98 HPV antigens from both high and low risk types could provide an inexpensive and reliable method to screen for patients at risk of developing invasive cervical cancer. Methods: 98 codon optimized, commercially produced HPV genes were cloned into the pANT7_cGST vector, amplified in a bacterial host, and purified for mammalian expression using in vitro transcription/translation (IVTT) in a luminescence-based RAPID ELISA (RELISA) assay. Monoclonal antibodies were used to determine immune cross-reactivity between phylogenetically similar antigens. Lastly, several protein characteristics were examined to determine if they correlated with protein expression. Results: All genes were successfully moved into the destination vector and 86 of the 98 genes (88%) expressed protein at an adequate level. A difference was noted in expression by gene across HPV types but no correlation was found between protein size, pI, or aliphatic index and expression. Discussion: Further testing is needed to express the remaining 12 HPV genes. Once all genes have been successfully expressed and purified at high concentrations, DNA will be printed on microscope slides to create a protein microarray. This microarray will be used to screen HPV-positive patient sera for antibody biomarkers that may be indicative of cervical cancer and precancerous cervical neoplasias.
- Expression of 12 High and Low Risk HPV Type Proteomes for the Development of a Protein Microarray
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