Capsomer vaccines protect mice from vaginal challenge with human papillomavirus

Wai Hong Wu, Elizabeth Gersch, Kihyuck Kwak, Subhashini Jagu, Balasubramanyam Karanam, Warner K. Huh, Robert L. Garcea, Richard B.S. Roden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Capsomers were produced in bacteria as glutathione-S-transferase (GST) fusion proteins with human papillomavirus type 16 L1 lacking the first nine and final 29 residues (GST-HPV16L1Δ) alone or linked with residues 13-47 of HPV18, HPV31 and HPV45 L2 in tandem (GST-HPV16L1Δ-L2x3). Subcutaneous immunization of mice with GST-HPV16L1Δ or GST-HPV16L1Δ-L2x3 in alum and monophosphoryl lipid A induced similarly high titers of HPV16 neutralizing antibodies. GST-HPV16L1Δ-L2x3 also elicited moderate L2-specific antibody titers. Intravaginal challenge studies showed that immunization of mice with GST-HPV16 L1Δ or GST-HPV16L1Δ-L2x3 capsomers, like Cervarix®, provided complete protection against HPV16. Conversely, vaccination with GST-HPV16 L1Δ capsomers failed to protect against HPV18 challenge, whereas mice immunized with either GST-HPV16L1Δ-L2x3 capsomers or Cervarix® were each completely protected. Thus, while the L2-specific response was moderate, it did not interfere with immunity to L1 in the context of GST-HPV16L1Δ-L2x3 and is sufficient to mediate L2-dependent protection against an experimental vaginal challenge with HPV18.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere27141
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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