Differences in integration frequencies and APOBEC3 profiles of five high-risk HPV types adheres to phylogeny

Tumour Virus Res. 2022 Sep 11;14:200247. doi: 10.1016/j.tvr.2022.200247. Online ahead of print.


Persistent infection with Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for almost all cases of cervical cancers, and HPV16 and HPV18 associated with the majority of these. These types differ in the proportion of viral minor nucleotide variants (MNVs) caused by APOBEC3 mutagenesis as well as integration frequencies. Whether these traits extend to other types remains uncertain. This study aimed to investigate and compare genomic variability and chromosomal integration in the two phylogenetically distinct Alpha-7 and Alpha-9 clades of carcinogenic HPV types. The TaME-seq protocol was employed to sequence cervical cell samples positive for HPV31, HPV33 or HPV45 and combine these with data from a previous study on HPV16 and HPV18. APOBEC3 mutation signatures were found in Alpha-9 (HPV16/31/33) but not in Alpha-7 (HPV18/45). HPV45 had significantly more MNVs compared to the other types. Alpha-7 had higher integration frequency compared to Alpha-9. An increase in integration frequency with increased diagnostic severity was found for Alpha-7. The results highlight important differences and broaden our understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind cervical cancer induced by high-risk HPV types from the Alpha-7 and Alpha-9 clades.

Keywords: APOBEC3; Alpha-7; Alpha-9; Cancer-related genes; Chromosomal integration; HPV16; HPV18; HPV31; HPV33; HPV45; Human papillomavirus; Minor nucleotide variation.