Human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16) is a worldwide health threat and an etiologic agent of cervical cancer. To understand the antigenic properties of HPV16, we pursued a structural study to elucidate HPV capsids and antibody interactions. The cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of a mature HPV16 particle and an altered capsid particle were solved individually and as complexes with fragment of antibody (Fab) from the neutralizing antibody H16.V5. Fitted crystal structures provided a pseudoatomic model of the virus-Fab complex, which identified a precise footprint of H16.V5, including previously unrecognized residues. The altered-capsid-Fab complex map showed that binding of the Fab induced significant conformational changes that were not seen in the altered-capsid structure alone. These changes included more ordered surface loops, consolidated so-called "invading-arm" structures, and tighter intercapsomeric connections at the capsid floor. The H16.V5 Fab preferentially bound hexavalent capsomers likely with a stabilizing effect that directly correlated with the number of bound Fabs. Additional cryo-EM reconstructions of the virus-Fab complex for different incubation times and structural analysis provide a model for a hyperstabilization of the capsomer by H16.V5 Fab and showed that the Fab distinguishes subtle differences between antigenic sites.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science