HPV16 and HPV18 type-specific APOBEC3 and integration profiles in different diagnostic categories of cervical samples

Tumour Virus Res. 2021 Dec;12:200221. doi: 10.1016/j.tvr.2021.200221. Epub 2021 Jun 25.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 and 18 are the most predominant types in cervical cancer. Only a small fraction of HPV infections progress to cancer, indicating that additional factors and genomic events contribute to the carcinogenesis, such as minor nucleotide variation caused by APOBEC3 and chromosomal integration. We analysed intra-host minor nucleotide variants (MNVs) and integration in HPV16 and HPV18 positive cervical samples with different morphology. Samples were sequenced using an HPV whole genome sequencing protocol TaME-seq. A total of 80 HPV16 and 51 HPV18 positive samples passed the sequencing depth criteria of 300× reads, showing the following distribution: non-progressive disease (HPV16 n = 21, HPV18 n = 12); cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade 2 (HPV16 n = 27, HPV18 n = 9); CIN3/adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS) (HPV16 n = 27, HPV18 n = 30); cervical cancer (HPV16 n = 5). Similar numbers of MNVs in HPV16 and HPV18 samples were observed for most viral genes, with the exception of HPV18 E4 with higher numbers across clinical categories. APOBEC3 signatures were observed in HPV16 lesions, while similar mutation patterns were not detected for HPV18. The proportion of samples with integration was 13% for HPV16 and 59% for HPV18 positive samples, with a noticeable portion located within or close to cancer-related genes.

Keywords: APOBEC3; Chromosomal integration; Human papillomavirus; Minor nucleotide variation; Viral genomic deletion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • APOBEC Deaminases / genetics*
  • Cervix Uteri
  • Female
  • Human papillomavirus 16
  • Human papillomavirus 18
  • Humans
  • Papillomavirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia* / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia* / virology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms* / virology


  • APOBEC Deaminases
  • APOBEC3 protein, human