Human T helper cell epitopes overlap B cell and putative cytotoxic T cell epitopes in the E2 protein of human papillomavirus type 16

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1995 Apr 17;209(2):541-6. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1995.1535.


Activation of T helper cells is a prerequisite for the function of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) and the maturation of the B cell response. Because epitopes recognized by each of these cells may overlap, we scanned the E2 protein of human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 to identify the T helper cell epitopes. Four major T helper cell epitopes (mapping between aa:s 11-25, 141-155, 191-205 & 231-245) and adjacent human B cell epitopes were found. The first peptide-defined epitope (RLNV) 11CQDKILTHYENDSTD25 overlapped five putative HLA-I (A1, A2, A0205, A3 & A11) binding motifs (CQDKILTHY, RLNVCQDKI, NVCQDKIL, RLNVCQDK & RLNVCQDK). This epitope is also part of an N-terminal alpha-helix which may form four HLA-II (DR2, DR4, DR7 & DR8) specific agretopes for structures recognizable by the T cell receptor (e.g. KILT). The second epitope 141EEASVTVVEGOVDYY155 (GLYY) overlapped the putative HLA-A1 & HLA-Bw37 binding motifs (VVEGQVDYY/QVDYYGLYY and EEASVTVV), and two HLA-II (DR1 & DR3) specific agretopes. The third and fourth epitopes were not associated with more than one putative CTL epitope each. Only the first epitope shared considerable aa-homology with corresponding regions of other genital HPV types.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Carcinoma / immunology
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / immunology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Epitope Mapping
  • Female
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / metabolism
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral / immunology*
  • Papillomaviridae / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / immunology
  • Viral Proteins / immunology


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • E2 protein, Human papillomavirus type 16
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral
  • Viral Proteins