Human papillomavirus type 11 recombinant L1 capsomeres induce virus-neutralizing antibodies.
The human papillomavirus type 11 (HPV-11) L1 major capsid protein can be trypsinized to generate recombinant capsomeres that retain HPV genotype-restricted capsid antigenicity (M. Li, T. P. Cripe, P. A. Estes, M. K. Lyon, R. C. Rose, and R. L. Garcea, J. Virol. 71:2988-2995, 1997). In the present study, HPV-11 virion-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies H11.F1 and H11.H3, previously characterized as recognizing two distinct HPV-11 capsid-neutralizing antigenic domains (S. W. Ludmerer, D. Benincasa, and G. E. Mark III, J. Virol. 70:4791-4794, 1996), were each found to be highly immunoreactive with trypsin-generated capsomeres in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Capsomeres were used to generate high-titer polyclonal immune sera that demonstrated HPV genotype-restricted reactivity by ELISA. The capsomere antiserawere then tested in an in vitro infectivity assay and found to neutralize HPV-11virions. In this assay, HPV-11 capsomere polyclonal antisera exhibited neutralization titers (10(-5) to 10(-6)) comparable to those obtained with a virion-neutralizing antiserum raised previously against intact HPV-11 VLPs (R. C. Rose, R. C. Reichman, and W. Bonnez, J. Gen. Virol. 75:2075-2079, 1994). These results indicate that highly immunogenic, genotype-restricted HPV capsid-neutralizing antigenic domains are contained entirely within capsomeres. Thus, capsomeres may be viable vaccine candidates for the prevention of HPV disease.