Intranasal immunization with synthetic peptides corresponding to the E6 and E7 oncoproteins of human papillomavirus type 16 induces systemic and mucosal cellular immune responses and tumor protection

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The E6 and E7 oncoproteins of the high-risk HPV type16 represent ideal targets for HPV vaccine development, they being consistently expressed in cervical cancer lesions. Since HPV-16 is primarily transmitted through genital mucosal route, mucosal immune responses constitute an essential feature for vaccination strategies against HPV-associated lesions. We present here evidence showing that mucosal immunization of mice by the intranasal route with a mixture of peptides E744-62 and E643-57 from the E7 and E6 oncoproteins of HPV-16, respectively, using a mutant cholera toxin adjuvant (CT-2*), primed strong antigen-specific cellular immune responses in systemic and mucosal tissues. Significant levels of IFN-γ production by both CD4 and CD8 cells were observed along with CTL responses that were effective against both peptide-pulsed targets as well as syngeneic tumor cells (TC-1) expressing the cognate E6 and E7 proteins. Furthermore, mice immunized with the peptide mixture and CT-2* effectively resisted TC-1 tumor challenge. These results together with our earlier observations that T cell responses to these peptides correlate with recurrence-free survival in women after ablative treatment for HPV-associated cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, support the potential of these E6 and E7 peptides for inclusion in vaccine formulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3302-3310
Number of pages9
Issue number17
StatePublished - Apr 30 2007



  • HPV16 E7 and E6 peptides
  • Mucosal immunization
  • Mutant cholera toxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • veterinary(all)

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