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Analysis of human papillomavirus E7 protein status in C-33A cervical cancer cells

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High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV) are the main etiologic factor for the development of cervical cancer. Infections by these viruses have been detected in virtually all cervical cancers. C-33A is one of the rare cervical cancer derived cell lines considered as HPV-negative. Employing monoclonal antibodies raised against a conformational epitope of the HPV-16 E7 oncoprotein, we present evidence suggesting that E7-positive cells can be sporadically and transiently detected in C-33A cell cultures. Immunoblotting with affinity-purified rabbit polyclonal anti-HPV 16 E7 antisera and q-RT-PCR analysis suggest that these cells do probably not express HPV-16 E7. Moreover, we show that the HPV E7 protein level differs considerably between individual cells in cultures of several established cervical cancer cell lines. Our data suggest that expression of the E7 protein is variable in established cervical cancer cell lines including C-33A cells.

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Work in WZs laboratory was supported by intramural funding from the University of Innsbruck. Work in PJDs laboratory was supported by the Austrian Science Funds.


PJD and WZ declare that they are listed as inventors on a patent application related to anti high-risk HPV E7 RabMAbs submitted by the Austrian Academy of Science (ÖAW) and AWS-Austria Wirtschaftsservice. The other authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Werner Zwerschke.

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Kaiser, A., Jenewein, B., Pircher, H. et al. Analysis of human papillomavirus E7 protein status in C-33A cervical cancer cells. Virus Genes 50, 12–21 (2015).

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  • Cervical cancer
  • HPV E7
  • CaSki
  • SiHa
  • C-33A
  • HeLa