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Int J Cancer. 1993 Jun 19;54(4):624-8.

Association of the antibodies against human papillomavirus 16 E4 and E7 proteins with cervical cancer positive for human papillomavirus DNA.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.


Occurrence of the antibodies against human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 proteins E4 and E7 is specifically but independently associated with cervical cancer. To correlate HPV DNA and antibody data, we examined the biopsy specimens and sera, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and by ELISA, respectively, from 51 patients with cervical cancer (including 3 recurrent cases) and 22 with cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia. Consensus primers for the L1 region were used for PCR and bacterially expressed, purified fusion protein HPV-16 E4 and non-fusion protein HPV-16 E7 were used for ELISA. HPV-16 DNA and other HPV types were detected in 17 and 25, respectively, out of 51 cases of cervical cancer. Ten out of the 17 HPV-16-DNA-positives were positive either for anti-E4 or for anti-E7: positivities for anti-E4, for anti-E7, and for both were 6/17, 5/17 and 1/17 respectively. Three anti-E7-positives consisted of those for HPV-33, -52 and -58 DNA, suggesting that limited cross-reaction occurred between the HPV types. Among the HPV-16-DNA-positive cases of cancer, lymph-node or distant metastasis was recorded more frequently in the seropositives than in the seronegatives. Our results show that the HPV-16 anti-E4 or anti-E7 occurs in some, but not in all, of the HPV-16-DNA-positive cases, and support the hypothesis that the presence of the HPV-16 antibodies can be used as a marker for possible metastasis.

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