Brief Report

Archives of Virology

, Volume 153, Issue 3, pp 585-589

First online:

An investigation into the use of human papillomavirus type 16 virus-like particles as a delivery vector system for foreign proteins: N- and C-terminal fusion of GFP to the L1 and L2 capsid proteins

  • Oliver P. WindramAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town
  • , Brandon WeberAffiliated withElectron Microscope Unit, University of Cape Town
  • , Mohamed A. JafferAffiliated withElectron Microscope Unit, University of Cape Town
  • , Edward P. RybickiAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town
  • , Dionne N. ShepherdAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town
  • , Arvind VarsaniAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape TownElectron Microscope Unit, University of Cape Town Email author 

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Abstract

Development of vaccine strategies against human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, is a priority. We investigated the use of virus-like particles (VLPs) of the most prevalent type, HPV-16, as carriers of foreign proteins. Green fluorescent protein (GFP) was fused to the N or C terminus of both L1 and L2, with L2 chimeras being co-expressed with native L1. Purified chimaeric VLPs were comparable in size (∼55 nm) to native HPV VLPs. Conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) bound to the VLPs, thereby indicating that they possibly retain their antigenicity. In addition, all of the VLPs encapsidated DNA in the range of 6–8 kb.