A neutralizing epitope of human papillomavirus type 11 is principally described by a continuous set of residues which overlap a distinct linear, surface-exposed epitope

J Virol. 1997 May;71(5):3834-9. doi: 10.1128/JVI.71.5.3834-3839.1997.


A panel of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) which neutralize human papillomavirus type 11 (HPV11) in the athymic mouse xenograph neutralization assay and bind HPV11 virus-like particles (VLPs) has been described. We recently presented evidence that the Gly131-Tyr132 residues of the major capsid protein L1 confer type 11-specific binding. However, residues distally located on the primary L1 sequence also were shown to affect binding. This poses the question whether the epitope is principally centered in the region of Gly131-Tyr132 or, alternatively, is comprised of diversely located residues which come into proximity only upon proper assembly. We analyzed the result of numerous substitutions located between Tyr123 and Val142 of the HPV11 L1 sequence. We show that substitutions at five positions result in loss of binding for one or more of these MAbs by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay which measures antibody binding to VLPs. We demonstrate that binding of these MAbs is redirected to HPV16 VLPs which harbor eight type 11-like substitutions within the homologous region. Three of these substitutions did not affect binding when individually substituted in HPV11 but yet were still required to transfer binding to substituted HPV16 VLPs. The results demonstrate that the epitope for this class of neutralizing MAbs, although conformational and requiring VLP assembly for presentation, principally lies along a 20-residue stretch of the L1 major capsid protein. This targets the region for evaluation of the possibility of receptor binding and suggests possibilities for the design of peptide inhibitors of virus infectivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Binding Sites
  • Epitopes*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Papillomaviridae / immunology*
  • Virion / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Epitopes