Identification in humans of HPV-16 E6 and E7 protein epitopes recognized by cytolytic T lymphocytes in association with HLA-B18 and determination of the HLA-B18-specific binding motif

Eur J Immunol. 2000 Aug;30(8):2281-9. doi: 10.1002/1521-4141(2000)30:8<2281::AID-IMMU2281>3.0.CO;2-N.


Human papilloma virus type 16 (HPV-16) is the HPV most frequently associated with cervical carcinoma in humans. For the prevention or treatment of cervical carcinoma, the E6 and E7 oncoproteins appear to be good targets for vaccine-induced cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). Lipopeptide vaccination is an efficient way of stimulating cellular responses. However, to synthesize effective lipopeptides, it is necessary to define which epitopes are immunogenic. In this study we first determined that peptide 80 - 88 of the E6 protein was recognized by CTL from a healthy donor in association with the HLA-B18 molecule. We then defined the HLA-B18 anchoring peptide motif by testing the binding of various short peptides with the HLA-B18 molecule and showed that it was related to the HLA-A1-specific peptide motif. Furthermore, in analyzing the potential E7 epitopes susceptible to associating with HLA-B18, we demonstrated that peptide E7 44 - 52 gave the strongest binding. It could also be recognized by CTL from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of the same healthy donor. Finally, with PBMC from a patient with a cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3, we found CTL which recognized the E6 80 - 88 epitope. We have hence identified two peptides encoded by the E6 and E7 proteins which are presented by the HLA-B18 molecule and could be included in a vaccine against HPV-16.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • HLA-B Antigens / metabolism*
  • HLA-B18 Antigen
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral / immunology*
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • Repressor Proteins*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*


  • E6 protein, Human papillomavirus type 16
  • HLA-B Antigens
  • HLA-B18 Antigen
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Repressor Proteins
  • oncogene protein E7, Human papillomavirus type 16