Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Identification of B cell epitopes reactive to human papillomavirus type-16L1- derived peptides

Akimasa Fukui1, Satoko Matsueda2, Kouichiro Kawano14*, Naotake Tsuda1, Nobukazu Komatsu2, Shigeki Shichijo2, Tetsuro Sasada2, Satoshi Hattori3, Kimio Ushijima1, Kyogo Itoh2 and Toshiharu Kamura1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan

2 Department of Immunology and Immunotherapy, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan

3 Biostatistics Center, Kurume University, Kurume, Japan

4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kurume University School of Medicine, 67 Asahi-machi, Kurume, Fukuoka, 830-0011, Japan

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Virology Journal 2012, 9:199  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-199

Published: 14 September 2012



Persistent infection of human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18 causes cervical cancer. To better understand immune responses to the prophylactic vaccine, HPV 16/18 L1 virus-like particles (HPV-VLPs), we investigated B cell epitopes of HPV16 L1-derived peptides.


Sera from mice immunized with HPV-16/18 L1 VLPs were analyzed for their IgG titers against 10 different HPV16 L1-derived peptides (20-mer) that contain human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-class I A-2, A-24 and class II DR.


One 20-mer peptide at positions 300 to 319 was identified as a common B cell epitope in both Balb/c (H-2d) and C57BL/6 (H-2b) mice. Mapping analysis showed that the 10-amino-acid sequence at positions 304to 313 was an immunogenic portion. It is of note that the binding capability of this 10-mer peptide to the HLA-A2 and HLA-A24 molecules was confirmed by the HLA class I stabilization assay. In addition, one unique 20-mer was determined as a B cell epitope in each strain.


These results might provide new information for better understanding of immune responses to HPV 16 L1.

Human papillomavirus; Prophylactic vaccine; Anti-peptide antibody; Virus-like particles