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J Virol. 1995 Dec;69(12):7743-53.

Human papillomavirus type 16 variant lineages in United States populations characterized by nucleotide sequence analysis of the E6, L2, and L1 coding segments.

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Department of Medicine, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque 87131, USA.


Human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) nucleotide sequence variations in the E6 (nucleotide positions [nt] 104 to 559), L2 (nt 4272 to 5657), and L1 (nt 5665 to 7148) open reading frames (ORFs), and the long control region (nt 7479 to 7842), were examined in 29 selected United States isolates. Of 3,690 nucleotide positions, 129 (3.5%) varied. The maximum pairwise distance was 66 nucleotide differences, or 1.8%. Nucleotide variations within different genome segments were phylogenetically compatible, and nucleotide changes within E6, L2, and L1 contained phylogenetic information beyond that provided in the long control region. Most isolates were classified as members of HPV16 lineages that have been described previously. However, two novel phylogenetic branches were identified. The L2 ORF was the most variable coding segment. L2 synonymous and nonsynonymous nucleotide changes were distributed asymmetrically. The amino-terminal half of the L2 protein was remarkably conserved among all isolates, suggesting that the region is under evolutionary constraint. The amino-terminal region of the E6 ORF was relatively varied, especially at E6 amino acid positions 10 and 14. Several amino acid difference in the L1 ORF were observed between lineages. Forty-nine amino acid variations across all sequenced coding regions were observed. These amino acid differences may be relevant to differences in the generation of humoral or cell-mediated immune responses to HPV16 variants. Our data form a basis for considering HPV16 sequence variation in the rational design of vaccine strategies and as an epidemiologic correlate of cervical cancer risk.

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