Background: Persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, especially with high-risk types such as HPV16 and HPV18, has been identified as the primary cause of cervical cancer. E6 and E7 are the major onco-proteins of high-risk HPVs, which are consistently expressed in HPV infected tissues but absent in normal tissues and represent ideal therapeutic targets for immunotherapy of cervical cancer. Materials and
Methods: In this study, the optimized fusion gene HPV18 E6E7 (HPV18 ofE6E7) was constructed according to genetic codon usage for human genes. At the same time, for safety future clinical application, a mutant of HPV18 ofE6E7 fusion gene was generated by site-directed mutagenesis at L52G for the E6 protein and C98G for the E7 protein.
Results: HPV18-E6E7 mutant (HPV18 ofmE6E7) constructed in this work not only lost the transformation capability for NIH 3T3 cells and tumorigenicity in BALB/c nude mice, but also maintained very good stability and antigenicity.
Conclusion: These results suggest that the mutant should undergo further study for application as a safe antigenspecific therapeutic vaccine for HPV18-associated tumors.