Human papillomavirus type 18 (HPV-18) has recently been closely linked with human malignant cervical lesions. The early region of the genome of the related bovine papillomavirus (BPV) has been shown to be important for the production of the transformed phenotype. BPV E6 has been shown to be a transforming protein. We report the primary structure of the HPV-18 E6 open reading frame and its predicted amino acid sequence. Both E6 protein and E6-β-galactosidase fusion protein were synthesized in bacteria. Antisera were raised against the E6-β-galactosidase fusion protein and against an E6 N-terminal peptide which was 14 amino acids long. We show that these antisera reacted on Western blots against E6 synthesized in bacteria. The HPV E6 antigen and antibodies described here will be useful in understanding HPV expression and its association with human malignancies and may also be diagnostically useful.

Keyword(s): antibodies , DNA sequence , expression and HPV

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