Biologicals : journal of the International Association of Biological Standardization

Physicochemical characterization and immunological properties of Pichia pastoris based HPV16L1 and 18L1 virus like particles.

PMID 28012703


There continues to be an urgent need for cost-effective prophylaxis for HPV-associated cancers in socio-economically underdeveloped nations. Presently HPV vaccines, which are commercially available, are adjuvanted virus-like particles (VLPs) expressed from various recombinant expression systems. They have been characterized by different methods as safe, pure, and potent HPV vaccine antigens. We cloned and expressed L1 proteins of HPV16 & 18 in Pichia pastoris and tested their immunogenicity. We observed that HPVL1 proteins (16L1 and 18L1) are expressed in Pichia pastoris at high levels. Critical physicochemical parameters of these HPV recombinant L1 proteins were characterized by SDS PAGE, western blotting, peptide mapping, glycosylation pattern, mass spectrometry, host cell DNA and protein analysis, electron microscopy, and immunogenicity analysis. These data establish a blueprint of HPV recombinant protein antigens for standardizing & developing an alternative high-quality, cost-effective vaccine for HPV as well as similar recombinant protein-based vaccines.