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author:("Chen, zhigui")
1.  Human papillomavirus 33 worldwide genetic variation and associated risk of cervical cancer 
Virology  2013;448:356-362.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) 33, a member of the HPV16-related alpha-9 species group, is found in approximately 5% of cervical cancers worldwide. The current study aimed to characterize the genetic diversity of HPV33 and to explore the association of HPV33 variants with the risk for cervical cancer. Taking advantage of the International Agency for Research on Cancer biobank, we sequenced the entire E6 and E7 open reading frames of 213 HPV33-positive cervical samples from 30 countries. We identified 28 HPV33 variants that formed 5 phylogenetic groups: the previously identified A1, A2, and B (sub) lineages and the novel A3 and C (sub)lineages. The A1 sublineage was strongly over-represented in cervical cases compared to controls in both Africa and Europe. In conclusion, we provide a classification system for HPV33 variants based on the sequence of E6 and E7 and suggest that the association of HPV33 with cervical cancer may differ by variant (sub)lineage.
PMCID: PMC3984975  PMID: 24314666
HPV; Variants; Cervical cancer; Phylogeny
2.  Global Genomic Diversity of Human Papillomavirus 6 Based on 724 Isolates and 190 Complete Genome Sequences 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(13):7307-7316.
Human papillomavirus type 6 (HPV6) is the major etiological agent of anogenital warts and laryngeal papillomas and has been included in both the quadrivalent and nonavalent prophylactic HPV vaccines. This study investigated the global genomic diversity of HPV6, using 724 isolates and 190 complete genomes from six continents, and the association of HPV6 genomic variants with geographical location, anatomical site of infection/disease, and gender. Initially, a 2,800-bp E5a-E5b-L1-LCR fragment was sequenced from 492/530 (92.8%) HPV6-positive samples collected for this study. Among them, 130 exhibited at least one single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), indel, or amino acid change in the E5a-E5b-L1-LCR fragment and were sequenced in full. A global alignment and maximum likelihood tree of 190 complete HPV6 genomes (130 fully sequenced in this study and 60 obtained from sequence repositories) revealed two variant lineages, A and B, and five B sublineages: B1, B2, B3, B4, and B5. HPV6 (sub)lineage-specific SNPs and a 960-bp representative region for whole-genome-based phylogenetic clustering within the L2 open reading frame were identified. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that lineage B predominated globally. Sublineage B3 was more common in Africa and North and South America, and lineage A was more common in Asia. Sublineages B1 and B3 were associated with anogenital infections, indicating a potential lesion-specific predilection of some HPV6 sublineages. Females had higher odds for infection with sublineage B3 than males. In conclusion, a global HPV6 phylogenetic analysis revealed the existence of two variant lineages and five sublineages, showing some degree of ethnogeographic, gender, and/or disease predilection in their distribution.
IMPORTANCE This study established the largest database of globally circulating HPV6 genomic variants and contributed a total of 130 new, complete HPV6 genome sequences to available sequence repositories. Two HPV6 variant lineages and five sublineages were identified and showed some degree of association with geographical location, anatomical site of infection/disease, and/or gender. We additionally identified several HPV6 lineage- and sublineage-specific SNPs to facilitate the identification of HPV6 variants and determined a representative region within the L2 gene that is suitable for HPV6 whole-genome-based phylogenetic analysis. This study complements and significantly expands the current knowledge of HPV6 genetic diversity and forms a comprehensive basis for future epidemiological, evolutionary, functional, pathogenicity, vaccination, and molecular assay development studies.
PMCID: PMC4054425  PMID: 24741079
3.  Human papillomavirus genome variants 
Virology  2013;445(0):232-243.
Amongst the human papillomaviruses (HPVs), the genus Alphapapillomavirus contains HPV types that are uniquely pathogenic. They can be classified into species and types based on genetic distances between viral genomes. Current circulating infectious HPVs constitute a set of viral genomes that have evolved with the rapid expansion of the human population. Viral variants were initially identified through restriction enzyme polymorphisms and more recently through sequence determination of viral fragments. Using partial sequence information, the history of variants, and the association of HPV variants with disease will be discussed with the main focus on the recent utilization of full genome sequence information for variant analyses. The use of multiple sequence alignments of complete viral genomes and phylogenetic analyses have begun to define variant lineages and sublineages using empirically defined differences of 1.0–10.0% and 0.5–1.0%, respectively. These studies provide the basis to define the genetics of HPV pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3979972  PMID: 23998342
HPV; Human papillomavirus variants; Alphapapillomaviruses; HPV variant lineages; HPV evolution
4.  Human Papillomavirus 16 Non-European Variants Are Preferentially Associated with High-Grade Cervical Lesions 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e100746.
HPV16 accounts for 50–70% of cervical cancer cases worldwide. Characterization of HPV16 variants previously indicated that they differ in risks for viral persistence, progression to cervical precancer and malignant cancer. The aim of this study was to examine the association of severity of disease with HPV16 variants identified in specimens (n = 281) obtained from a Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy outpatient clinic in the University Hospital of Espírito Santo State, Southeastern Brazil, from April 2010 to November 2011. All cytologic and histologic diagnoses were determined prior to definitive treatment. The DNA was isolated using QIAamp DNA Mini Kit and HPV was detected by amplification with PGMY09/11 primers and positive samples were genotyped by RFLP analyses and reverse line blot. The genomes of the HPV16 positive samples were sequenced, from which variant lineages were determined. Chi2 statistics was performed to test the association of HPV16 variants between case and control groups. The prevalence of HR-HPV types in
PMCID: PMC4077691  PMID: 24983739
Frontiers in Genetics  2014;5:150.
Invasive cervix cancer (ICC) is the third most common malignant tumor in women and human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16) causes more than 50% of ICC. DNA methylation is a covalent modification predominantly occurring at CpG dinucleotides and increased methylation across the HPV16 genome is strongly associated with ICC development. Next generation (Next Gen) sequencing has been proposed as a novel approach to determine DNA methylation. However, utilization of this method to survey CpG methylation in the HPV16 genome is not well described. Moreover, it provides additional information on methylation “haplotypes.” In the current study, we chose 12 random samples, amplified multiple segments in the HPV16 bisulfite treated genome with specific barcodes, inspected the methylation ratio at 31 CpG sites for all samples using Illumina sequencing, and compared the results with quantitative pyrosequencing. Most of the CpG sites were highly consistent between the two approaches (overall correlation, r = 0.92), thus verifying that Next Gen sequencing is an accurate and convenient method to survey HPV16 methylation and thus can be used in clinical samples for risk assessment. Moreover, the CpG methylation patterns (methylation haplotypes) in single molecules identified an excess of complete-and non-methylated molecules and a substantial amount of partial-methylated ones, thus indicating a complex dynamic for the mechanisms of HPV16 CpG methylation. In summary, the advantages of Next Gen sequencing compared to pyrosequencing for HPV genome methylation analyses include higher throughput, increased resolution, and improved efficiency of time and resources.
PMCID: PMC4042685  PMID: 24917876
human papillomavirus; methylation; next generation sequencing; CpG methylation; methylation haplotypes
Human papillomavirus (HPV) 58 accounts for a notable proportion of cervical cancers in East Asia and parts of Latin America, but it is uncommon elsewhere. The reason for such ethnogeographical predilection is unknown. In our study, nucleotide sequences of E6 and E7 genes of 401 HPV58 isolates collected from 15 countries/cities across four continents were examined. Phylogenetic relationship, geographical distribution and risk association of nucleotide sequence variations were analyzed. We found that the E6 genes of HPV58 variants were more conserved than E7. Thus, E6 is a more appropriate target for type-specific detection, whereas E7 is more appropriate for strain differentiation. The frequency of sequence variation varied geographically. Africa had significantly more isolates with E6-367A (D86E) but significantly less isolates with E6-203G, -245G, -367C (prototype-like) than other regions (p ≤ 0.003). E7-632T, -760A (T20I, G63S) was more frequently found in Asia, and E7-793G (T74A) was more frequent in Africa (p < 0.001). Variants with T20I and G63S substitutions at E7 conferred a significantly higher risk for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade III and invasive cervical cancer compared to other HPV58 variants (odds ratio = 4.44, p = 0.007). In conclusion, T20I and/or G63S substitution(s) at E7 of HPV58 is/are associated with a higher risk for cervical neoplasia. These substitutions are more commonly found in Asia and the Americas, which may account for the higher disease attribution of HPV58 in these areas.
PMCID: PMC3962828  PMID: 23136059
HPV; variant; cervical cancer; phylogeny; oncogenic risk
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96659.
Female genital tract secretions inhibit E. coli ex vivo and the activity may prevent colonization and provide a biomarker of a healthy microbiome. We hypothesized that high E. coli inhibitory activity would be associated with a Lactobacillus crispatus and/or jensenii dominant microbiome and differ from that of women with low inhibitory activity.
Study Design
Vaginal swab cell pellets from 20 samples previously obtained in a cross-sectional study of near-term pregnant and non-pregnant healthy women were selected based on having high (>90% inhibition) or low (<20% inhibition) anti-E. coli activity. The V6 region of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene was amplified and sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform. Filtered culture supernatants from Lactobacillus crispatus, Lactobacillus iners, and Gardnerella vaginalis were also assayed for E. coli inhibitory activity.
Sixteen samples (10 with high and 6 with low activity) yielded evaluable microbiome data. There was no difference in the predominant microbiome species in pregnant compared to non-pregnant women (n = 8 each). However, there were significant differences between women with high compared to low E. coli inhibitory activity. High activity was associated with a predominance of L. crispatus (p<0.007) and culture supernatants from L. crispatus exhibited greater E. coli inhibitory activity compared to supernatants obtained from L. iners or G. vaginalis. Notably, the E. coli inhibitory activity varied among different strains of L. crispatus.
Microbiome communities with abundant L. crispatus likely contribute to the E. coli inhibitory activity of vaginal secretions and efforts to promote this environment may prevent E. coli colonization and related sequelae including preterm birth.
PMCID: PMC4013016  PMID: 24805362
To evaluate reproducibility of oral rinse self-collection for HPV detection and investigate associations between oral HPV, oral lesions, immune and sociodemographic factors, we performed a cross-sectional study of older adults with HIV infection.
Study Design
We collected oral rinse samples from 52 subjects at two different times of day followed by an oral examination and interview. We identified HPV using PCR platforms optimized for detection of mucosal and cutaneous types.
Eighty seven percent of individuals had oral HPV, of which 23% had oncogenic alpha, 40% had non-oncogenic alpha, and 46% had beta or gamma HPV. Paired oral specimens were concordant in all parameters tested. Significant associations observed for oral HPV with increased HIV viral load, hepatitis-C seropositivity, history of sexually transmitted diseases and lifetime number of sexual partners.
Oral cavity may be a reservoir of subclinical HPV in older adults who have HIV infection. Understanding natural history, transmission and potential implications of oral HPV warrants further investigations.
PMCID: PMC4011080  PMID: 23375488
human papillomas virus; HPV; human immunodeficiency virus; HIV; immunosuppression; oral lesions; PCR
Toxicologic pathology  2012;41(6):893-901.
Genital condyloma-like lesions were observed on male and female cynomolgus macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) originating from the island of Mauritius. Cytobrush and/or biopsy samples were obtained from lesions of 57 affected macaques. Primary histologic features included eosinophilic, neutrophilic, and lymphoplasmacytic penile and vulvar inflammation, epidermal hyperplasia with acanthosis, and increased collagenous stroma. Polymerase chain reaction–based assays to amplify viral DNA revealed the presence of macaque lymphocryptovirus (LCV) DNA but not papillomavirus or poxvirus DNA. Subsequent DNA analyses of 3 genomic regions of LCV identified isolates associated with lesions in 19/25 (76%) biopsies and 19/57 (33%) cytology samples. Variable immunolabeling for proteins related to the human LCV Epstein Barr Virus was observed within intralesional plasma cells, stromal cells, and epithelial cells. Further work is needed to characterize the epidemiologic features of these lesions and their association with LCV infection in Mauritian-origin macaques.
PMCID: PMC3980466  PMID: 23262641
genital; condyloma; macaque; primate; gammaherpesvirus; lymphocryptovirus; papillomavirus; Mauritius
The Journal of general virology  2007;88(0 11):2952-2955.
Complete genomes of HPV102 (8078 bp) and HPV106 (8035 bp) were PCR amplified and cloned from cervicovaginal cells of a 49-year-old Hispanic female with reactive changes on her Pap test and a 42-year-old Hispanic female with a Pap test diagnosis of atypical squamous cells of unknown significance (ASCUS), respectively. The nucleotide sequence similarity of the complete L1 open reading frame (ORF) determined that HPV102 and HPV106 are most closely related to HPV83 (84.1 % identity) and HPV90 (83.5 % identity), respectively, placing them in the genital HPV groups, papillomaviruses species α3 and α15. HPV102 and HPV106 contain five early genes (E6, E7, E1, E2, and E4) and two late genes (L2 and L1), and both lack an E5 ORF. On the basis of phylogenetic analyses and available clinical information, these two novel HPV types expand the heterogeneity of HPVs detected in the lower genital tract.
PMCID: PMC3963832  PMID: 17947516
•36 new sequences for three genes are characterized from 20 species (12 genera) in the core group of Urostyloidea.•More well-supported and reliable nodes are detected in the concatenated topologies.•Multi-gene phylogenies and morphological features are discussed to improve the understanding of the evolution of urostyloids.•A new genus Arcuseries (type A. petzi) is established to contain three distinctly deviating Anteholosticha species.
Classifications of the Urostyloidea were mainly based on morphology and morphogenesis. Since molecular phylogeny largely focused on limited sampling using mostly the one-gene information, the incongruence between morphological data and gene sequences have risen. In this work, the three-gene data (SSU-rDNA, ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 and LSU-rDNA) comprising 12 genera in the “core urostyloids” are sequenced, and the phylogenies based on these different markers are compared using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian algorithms and tested by unconstrained and constrained analyses. The molecular phylogeny supports the following conclusions: (1) the monophyly of the core group of Urostyloidea is well supported while the whole Urostyloidea is not monophyletic; (2) Thigmokeronopsis and Apokeronopsis are clearly separated from the pseudokeronopsids in analyses of all three gene markers, supporting their exclusion from the Pseudokeronopsidae and the inclusion in the Urostylidae; (3) Diaxonella and Apobakuella should be assigned to the Urostylidae; (4) Bergeriella, Monocoronella and Neourostylopsis flavicana share a most recent common ancestor; (5) all molecular trees support the transfer of Metaurostylopsis flavicana to the recently proposed genus Neourostylopsis; (6) all molecular phylogenies fail to separate the morphologically well-defined genera Uroleptopsis and Pseudokeronopsis; and (7) Arcuseries gen. nov. containing three distinctly deviating Anteholosticha species is established.
PMCID: PMC3906606  PMID: 24140978
Ciliophora; Evolution; Three genes; Phylogeny; Urostyloidea
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:695179.
Raf-1 kinase inhibitor protein (RKIP) is a tumor and metastasis suppressor in cancer cells. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been suggested to play a vital role in tumor initiation and progression by negatively regulating oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Quite recently, studies have identified some miRNAs operating to promote or suppress tumor invasion or metastasis via regulating metastasis-related genes, providing potential therapeutic targets on antimetastasis strategy. In this study, we found that the expression of RKIP and miR-98 in glioma tissues were significantly lower than that in normal brain tissues. Overexpression of RKIP upregulated miR-98 expression and inhibited glioma cell invasion and miR-98 target gene HMGA2 but had no effect in glioma cell proliferation. Moreover, forced expression of miR-98 accelerated the inhibition of glioma cell invasion and the expression of HMGA2 also had no effect in glioma cell proliferation. Our findings newly described RKIP/miR-98 to HMGA2 link and provided a potential mechanism for glioma cell invasion. RKIP and miR-98 may illustrate the potential therapeutic utility of signaling pathway signatures.
PMCID: PMC3874320  PMID: 24392454
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e72565.
The species Alphapapillomavirus 7 (alpha-7) contains human papillomavirus genotypes that account for 15% of invasive cervical cancers and are disproportionately associated with adenocarcinoma of the cervix. Complete genome analyses enable identification and nomenclature of variant lineages and sublineages.
The URR/E6 region was sequenced to screen for novel variants of HPV18, 39, 45, 59, 68, 70, 85 and 97 from 1147 cervical samples obtained from multiple geographic regions that had previously been shown to contain an alpha-7 HPV isolate. To study viral heterogeneity, the complete 8 kb genome of 128 isolates, including 109 sequenced for this analysis, were annotated and analyzed. Viral evolution was characterized by constructing phylogenic trees using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian algorithms. Global and pairwise alignments were used to calculate total and ORF/region nucleotide differences; lineages and sublineages were assigned using an alphanumeric system. The prototype genome was assigned to the A lineage or A1 sublineage.
The genomic diversity of alpha-7 HPV types ranged from 1.1% to 6.7% nucleotide sequence differences; the extent of genome-genome pairwise intratype heterogeneity was 1.1% for HPV39, 1.3% for HPV59, 1.5% for HPV45, 1.6% for HPV70, 2.1% for HPV18, and 6.7% for HPV68. ME180 (previously a subtype of HPV68) was designated as the representative genome for HPV68 sublineage C1. Each ORF/region differed in sequence diversity, from most variable to least variable: noncoding region 1 (NCR1) / noncoding region 2 (NCR2) > upstream regulatory region (URR) > E6 / E7 > E2 / L2 > E1 / L1.
These data provide estimates of the maximum viral genomic heterogeneity of alpha-7 HPV type variants. The proposed taxonomic system facilitates the comparison of variants across epidemiological and molecular studies. Sequence diversity, geographic distribution and phylogenetic topology of this clinically important group of HPVs suggest an independent evolutionary history for each type.
PMCID: PMC3745470  PMID: 23977318
The Journal of General Virology  2012;93(Pt 8):1774-1779.
Recent studies indicate that human papillomaviruses (HPVs) from the genera Betapapillomavirus and Gammapapillomavirus are abundant in the human oral cavity. We report the cloning and characterization of a 7304 bp HPV120 genome from the oral cavity that is related most closely to HPV23 (L1 ORF, 83.7 % similarity), clustering it in the genus Betapapillomavirus (β-PV). HPV120 contains five early and two late genes, but no E5 ORF. HPV120 was detected from heterogeneous human biological niches, including the oral cavity, eyebrow hairs, anal canal and penile, vulvar and perianal warts. Characterization of the clinical spectrum of HPV120 infections indicates a broader spectrum of epithelial tropism than appreciated previously for HPV types from the genus β-PV.
PMCID: PMC3541761  PMID: 22552941
Infection by a human papillomavirus (HPV) may result in a variety of clinical conditions ranging from benign warts to invasive cancer depending on the viral type. The HPV E2 protein represses transcription of the E6 and E7 genes in integrated papillomavirus genomes and together with the E1 protein is required for viral replication. E2 proteins bind with high affinity to palindromic DNA sequences consisting of two highly conserved four base pair sequences flanking a variable ‘spacer’ of identical length. The E2 proteins directly contact the conserved DNA but not the spacer DNA. However, variation in naturally occurring spacer sequences results in differential protein binding affinity. This discrimination in binding is dependent on their sensitivity to the unique conformational and/or dynamic properties of the spacer DNA in a process termed ‘indirect readout’. This article explores the structure of the E2 proteins and their interaction with DNA and other proteins, the effects of ions on affinity and specificity, and the phylogenetic and biophysical nature of this core viral protein. We have analyzed the sequence conservation and electrostatic features of three-dimensional models of the DNA binding domains of 146 papillomavirus types and variants with the goal of identifying characteristics that associated with risk of virally caused malignancy. The amino acid sequence, three-dimensional structure, and the electrostatic features of E2 protein DNA binding domain showed high conservation among all papillomavirus types. This indicates that the specific interactions between the E2 protein and its binding sites on DNA have been conserved throughout PV evolution. Analysis of the E2 protein’s transactivation domain showed that unlike the DNA binding domain, the transactivation domain does not have extensive surfaces of highly conserved residues. Rather, the regions of high conservation are localized to small surface patches. The invariance of the E2 DNA binding domain structure, electrostatics and sequence suggests that it may be a suitable target for the development of vaccines effective against a broad spectrum of HPV types.
PMCID: PMC3705561  PMID: 19273107
Papillomavirus; DNA; Protein-DNA interactions; Electrostatics; E2; Review
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2011;204(5):787-792.
Background. Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) primarily sort into 3 genera: Alphapapillomavirus (α-HPV), predominantly isolated from mucosa, and Betapapillomavirus (β-HPV) and Gammapapillomavirus (γ-HPV), predominantly isolated from skin. HPV types might infect body sites that are different from those from which they were originally isolated.
Methods. We investigated the spectrum of HPV type distribution in oral rinse samples from 2 populations: 52 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–positive men and women and 317 men who provided a sample for genomic DNA for a prostate cancer study. HPV types were detected with the MY09/MY11 and FAP59/64 primer systems and identified by dot blot hybridization and/or direct sequencing.
Results. Oral rinse specimens from 35 (67%) of 52 HIV-positive individuals and 117 (37%) of 317 older male participants tested positive for HPV DNA. We found 117 type-specific HPV infections from the HIV-positive individuals, including 73 α-HPV, 33 β-HPV, and 11 γ-HPV infections; whereas, the distribution was 46 α-HPV, 108 β-HPV, and 14 γ-HPV infections from 168 type-specific infections from the 317 male participants.
Conclusions. The oral cavity contains a wide spectrum of HPV types predominantly from the β-HPV and γ-HPV genera, which were previously considered to be cutaneous types. These results could have significant implications for understanding the biology of HPV and the epidemiological associations of HPV with oral and skin neoplasia.
PMCID: PMC3156102  PMID: 21844305
Virology  2009;393(2):304-310.
Alpha human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are among the most common sexually transmitted agents of which a subset causes cervical neoplasia and cancer in humans. Alpha-PVs have also been identified in non-human primates although few studies have systematically characterized such mucosal PVs. We cloned and characterized 10 distinct types of PVs from exfoliated cervicovaginal cells from different populations of female cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) originating from China and Indonesia. These include 5 novel genotypes and 5 previously identified genotypes found in rhesus (Macaca mulatta) (RhPV-1, RhPV-a, RhPV-b and RhPV-d) and cynomolgus macaques (MfPV-a). Type-specific primers were designed to amplify the complete PV genomes using an overlapping PCR method. Four MfPVs were associated with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). The most prevalent virus type was MfPV-3 (formerly RhPV-d), which was identified in 60% of animals with CIN. In addition, the complete genomes of variants of MfPV-3 and RhPV-1 were characterized. These variants are 97.1% and 97.7% similar across the L1 nucleotide sequences with the prototype genomes, respectively. Sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analyses indicate that these novel MfPVs cluster together within the alpha PV α12 species closely related to the α9 (e.g., HPV16) and α11 species (e.g., HPV34), and all share a most recent common ancestor. Our data expand the molecular diversity of non-human primate PVs and suggest the recent expansion of alpha PV species groups. Moreover, identification of an overlapping set of MfPVs in rhesus and cynomolgus macaques indicates that non-human primate alpha PVs might not be strictly species specific and that “subtypes” may represent recent divergence of host species or past interspecies infection.
PMCID: PMC3422072  PMID: 19716580
alpha papillomavirus; Macaca fascicularis; novel PVs; genomic diversity; evolution
Virology  2010;401(1):70-79.
We present an expansion of the classification of the family Papillomaviridae, which now contains 29 genera formed by 189 papillomavirus (PV) types isolated from humans (120 types), non-human mammals, birds and reptiles (64, 3 and 2 types, respectively). To accommodate the number of PV genera exceeding the Greek alphabet, the prefix “dyo” is used, continuing after the Omega-PVs with Dyodelta-PVs. The current set of human PVs are contained within five genera, whereas mammalian, avian and reptile PVs are contained within 20, 3 and 1 genera, respectively. We propose standardizations to the names of a number of animal PVs. As prerequisite for a coherent nomenclature of animal PVs, we propose founding a Reference Center for Animal PVs. We discuss that based on emerging species concepts derived from genome sequences, PV types could be promoted to the taxonomic level of species, but do not recommend implementing this change at the current time.
PMCID: PMC3400342  PMID: 20206957
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40425.
The rapidly expanding field of microbiome studies offers investigators a large choice of methods for each step in the process of determining the microorganisms in a sample. The human cervicovaginal microbiome affects female reproductive health, susceptibility to and natural history of many sexually transmitted infections, including human papillomavirus (HPV). At present, long-term behavior of the cervical microbiome in early sexual life is poorly understood.
The V6 and V6–V9 regions of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene were amplified from DNA isolated from exfoliated cervical cells. Specimens from 10 women participating in the Natural History Study of HPV in Guanacaste, Costa Rica were sampled successively over a period of 5–7 years. We sequenced amplicons using 3 different platforms (Sanger, Roche 454, and Illumina HiSeq 2000) and analyzed sequences using pipelines based on 3 different classification algorithms (usearch, RDP Classifier, and pplacer).
Usearch and pplacer provided consistent microbiome classifications for all sequencing methods, whereas RDP Classifier deviated significantly when characterizing Illumina reads. Comparing across sequencing platforms indicated 7%–41% of the reads were reclassified, while comparing across software pipelines reclassified up to 32% of the reads. Variability in classification was shown not to be due to a difference in read lengths. Six cervical microbiome community types were observed and are characterized by a predominance of either G. vaginalis or Lactobacillus spp. Over the 5–7 year period, subjects displayed fluctuation between community types. A PERMANOVA analysis on pairwise Kantorovich-Rubinstein distances between the microbiota of all samples yielded an F-test ratio of 2.86 (p<0.01), indicating a significant difference comparing within and between subjects’ microbiota.
Amplification and sequencing methods affected the characterization of the microbiome more than classification algorithms. Pplacer and usearch performed consistently with all sequencing methods. The analyses identified 6 community types consistent with those previously reported. The long-term behavior of the cervical microbiome indicated that fluctuations were subject dependent.
PMCID: PMC3392218  PMID: 22792313
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e21375.
Human Papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) causes over half of all cervical cancer and some HPV16 variants are more oncogenic than others. The genetic basis for the extraordinary oncogenic properties of HPV16 compared to other HPVs is unknown. In addition, we neither know which nucleotides vary across and within HPV types and lineages, nor which of the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) determine oncogenicity.
A reference set of 62 HPV16 complete genome sequences was established and used to examine patterns of evolutionary relatedness amongst variants using a pairwise identity heatmap and HPV16 phylogeny. A BLAST-based algorithm was developed to impute complete genome data from partial sequence information using the reference database. To interrogate the oncogenic risk of determined and imputed HPV16 SNPs, odds-ratios for each SNP were calculated in a case-control viral genome-wide association study (VWAS) using biopsy confirmed high-grade cervix neoplasia and self-limited HPV16 infections from Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
HPV16 variants display evolutionarily stable lineages that contain conserved diagnostic SNPs. The imputation algorithm indicated that an average of 97.5±1.03% of SNPs could be accurately imputed. The VWAS revealed specific HPV16 viral SNPs associated with variant lineages and elevated odds ratios; however, individual causal SNPs could not be distinguished with certainty due to the nature of HPV evolution.
Conserved and lineage-specific SNPs can be imputed with a high degree of accuracy from limited viral polymorphic data due to the lack of recombination and the stochastic mechanism of variation accumulation in the HPV genome. However, to determine the role of novel variants or non-lineage-specific SNPs by VWAS will require direct sequence analysis. The investigation of patterns of genetic variation and the identification of diagnostic SNPs for lineages of HPV16 variants provides a valuable resource for future studies of HPV16 pathogenicity.
PMCID: PMC3121793  PMID: 21731721
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e20183.
Human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16) species group (alpha-9) of the Alphapapillomavirus genus contains HPV16, HPV31, HPV33, HPV35, HPV52, HPV58 and HPV67. These HPVs account for 75% of invasive cervical cancers worldwide. Viral variants of these HPVs differ in evolutionary history and pathogenicity. Moreover, a comprehensive nomenclature system for HPV variants is lacking, limiting comparisons between studies.
DNA from cervical samples previously characterized for HPV type were obtained from multiple geographic regions to screen for novel variants. The complete 8 kb genomes of 120 variants representing the major and minor lineages of the HPV16-related alpha-9 HPV types were sequenced to capture maximum viral heterogeneity. Viral evolution was characterized by constructing phylogenic trees based on complete genomes using multiple algorithms. Maximal and viral region specific divergence was calculated by global and pairwise alignments. Variant lineages were classified and named using an alphanumeric system; the prototype genome was assigned to the A lineage for all types.
The range of genome-genome sequence heterogeneity varied from 0.6% for HPV35 to 2.2% for HPV52 and included 1.4% for HPV31, 1.1% for HPV33, 1.7% for HPV58 and 1.1% for HPV67. Nucleotide differences of approximately 1.0% - 10.0% and 0.5%–1.0% of the complete genomes were used to define variant lineages and sublineages, respectively. Each gene/region differs in sequence diversity, from most variable to least variable: noncoding region 1 (NCR1) /noncoding region 2 (NCR2) >upstream regulatory region (URR)> E6/E7 > E2/L2 > E1/L1.
These data define maximum viral genomic heterogeneity of HPV16-related alpha-9 HPV variants. The proposed nomenclature system facilitates the comparison of variants across epidemiological studies. Sequence diversity and phylogenies of this clinically important group of HPVs provides the basis for further studies of discrete viral evolution, epidemiology, pathogenesis and preventative/therapeutic interventions.
PMCID: PMC3103539  PMID: 21673791
Cancer research  2010;70(8):3159-3169.
HPV types differ profoundly in cervical carcinogenicity. For the most carcinogenic type, HPV16, variant lineages representing further evolutionary divergence also differ in cancer risk. Variants of the remaining 10-15 carcinogenic HPV types have not been well-studied.
In the first prospective, population-based study of HPV variants, we explored whether, on average, the oldest evolutionary branches within each carcinogenic type predicted different risks of ≥2-year viral persistence and/or precancer and cancer (CIN3+). We examined the natural history of HPV variants in the 7-year, 10,049-woman Guanacaste Cohort Study, using a nested case-control design. Infections were assigned to a variant lineage determined by phylogenetic parsimony methods based on URR/E6 sequences. We used the Fisher's combination test to evaluate significance of the risk associations, cumulating evidence across types.
Globally, for HPV types including HPV16, the p-value was 0.01 for persistence and 0.07 for CIN3+. Excluding HPV16, the p-values were 0.04 and 0.37, respectively. For HPV16, non-European viral variants were significantly more likely than European variants to cause persistence (OR = 2.6, p = 0.01) and CIN3+ (OR = 2.4, p = 0.004). HPV35 and HPV51 variant lineages also predicted CIN3+.
HPV variants generally differ in risk of persistence. For some HPV types, especially HPV16, variant lineages differ in risk of CIN3+. The findings indicate that continued evolution of HPV types has led to even finer genetic discrimination linked to HPV natural history and cervical cancer risk. Larger viral genomic studies are warranted, especially to identify the genetic basis for HPV16's unique carcinogenicity.
PMCID: PMC2855741  PMID: 20354192
HPV; variants; evolution; cervix; cancer
PLoS ONE  2010;5(9):e12816.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) E6 induced p53 degradation is thought to be an essential activity by which high-risk human Alphapapillomaviruses (alpha-HPVs) contribute to cervical cancer development. However, most of our understanding is derived from the comparison of HPV16 and HPV11. These two viruses are relatively distinct viruses, making the extrapolation of these results difficult. In the present study, we expand the tested strains (types) to include members of all known HPV species groups within the Alphapapillomavirus genus.
Principal Findings
We report the biochemical activity of E6 proteins from 27 HPV types representing all alpha-HPV species groups to degrade p53 in human cells. Expression of E6 from all HPV types epidemiologically classified as group 1 carcinogens significantly reduced p53 levels. However, several types not associated with cancer (e.g., HPV53, HPV70 and HPV71) were equally active in degrading p53. HPV types within species groups alpha 5, 6, 7, 9 and 11 share a most recent common ancestor (MRCA) and all contain E6 ORFs that degrade p53. A unique exception, HPV71 E6 ORF that degraded p53 was outside this clade and is one of the most prevalent HPV types infecting the cervix in a population-based study of 10,000 women. Alignment of E6 ORFs identified an amino acid site that was highly correlated with the biochemical ability to degrade p53. Alteration of this amino acid in HPV71 E6 abrogated its ability to degrade p53, while alteration of this site in HPV71-related HPV90 and HPV106 E6s enhanced their capacity to degrade p53.
These data suggest that the alpha-HPV E6 proteins' ability to degrade p53 is an evolved phenotype inherited from a most recent common ancestor of the high-risk species that does not always segregate with carcinogenicity. In addition, we identified an amino-acid residue strongly correlated with viral p53 degrading potential.
PMCID: PMC2941455  PMID: 20862247
Public Health Genomics  2009;12(5-6):281-290.
Persistent infection by specific oncogenic human papillomaviruses (HPVs) is established as the necessary cause of cervix cancer. DNA sequence differences between HPV genomes determine whether an HPV has the potential to cause cancer. Of the more than 100 HPV genotypes characterized at the genetic level, at least 15 are associated, to varying degrees, with cervical cancer. Classification based on nucleotide similarity places nearly all HPVs that infect the cervicovaginal area within the α-PV genus. Within this genus, phylogenetic trees inferred from the entire viral genome cluster all cancer-causing types together, suggesting the existence of a common ancestor for the oncogenic HPVs. However, in separate trees built from the early open reading frames (ORFs; i.e. E1, E2, E6, E7) or the late ORFs (i.e. L1, L2), the carcinogenic potential sorts with the early region of the genome, but not the late region. Thus, genetic differences within the early region specify the pathogenic potential of α-HPV infections. Since the HPV genomes are monophyletic and sites are highly correlated across the genome, diagnosis of oncogenic types and non-oncogenic types can be accomplished using any region across the genome. Here we review our current understanding of the evolutionary history of the oncogenic HPVs, in particular, we focus on the importance of viral genome heterogeneity and discuss the genetic basis for the oncogenic phenotype in some but not all α-PVs.
PMCID: PMC2835381  PMID: 19684441
Human papillomavirus; Cervix cancer; Evolution; Phylogeny

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