Serum samples from 38 healthy women and 55 women with different types of cervical lesions were investigated for the presence of antibodies to Ras and against E4 and E7 proteins of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16). Our results showed that anti-E7 antibodies were closely associated with cervical cancer (75%), as previously reported. Interestingly, E4 antibodies showed higher prevalence in condyloma lesions (79%; 11/14) than in cervical cancer (60%; 12/20). We also identified 11% (4/38) of healthy individuals as positive for E4 antibodies, which suggests an early immune recognition of this protein. Patients with condyloma and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) also showed higher prevalences of Ras antibodies (∼40%) than cervical cancer patients (10%; 2/20). By sequencing part of the ras genes and using different Ras antigens, we showed that serum antibodies from patients were not directed to a Ras mutation, since wild-type cHa-Ras protein was recognized by these antibodies. In addition, patients positive for Ras antibodies (94%) were also positive for E4 antibodies, suggesting an association between these. The high prevalence of antibodies against Ras and E4 proteins in pre-malignant lesions opens the possibility of using both antibodies as early markers for potential cervical cancer patients.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2000
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