The expression pattern of human papillomavirus (HPV) capsid antigen L2 is poorly described, and the significance of its localization with both promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) and Daxx in a subnuclear domain, nuclear domain 10 (ND-10), when ectopically expressed in tissue culture cells is controversial. To address whether ND-10 localization of L2 occurs in natural cervical lesions, we used a HPV16 and HPV18 L2-specific monoclonal antibody (RG-1), in addition to rabbit antiserum to HPV6 L2, to localize L2. Immunohistochemical staining with RG-1 produced diffuse staining in the nuclei of some cells located within the superficial epithelial layers in eight of nine cases of HPV16/18+ cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 1 (CIN1); however, no staining was observed in HPV16/18+ high-grade CIN (0 of 8 cases), normal cervical epithelium (0 of 20 cases), cervical squamous cell carcinoma (0 of 102 cases), adenocarcinoma (0 of 51 cases), or adenosquamous carcinoma (0 of 6 cases). HPV16/18+ cervical lesions that express L2 exhibit higher HPV16/18 genome copies per cell compared with those that do not positively stain with RG-1 (P = 0.04). RG-1 staining of HeLa cells transfected with L2 expression constructs was frequently concentrated in the ND-10, particularly in cells expressing high levels of L2, and co-localized with the cellular markers of ND-10, PML, and Daxx. In contrast, L2 was primarily diffuse within the nucleus and distinct from ND-10 as defined by PML immunofluorescent staining in CIN lesions, condylomata, and HPV16-transduced organotypic cultures.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine