In vivo HPV 16 E5 mRNA: Expression pattern in patients with squamous intra-epithelial lesions of the cervix

Laura Lorenzon, Francesca Mazzetta, Aldo Venuti, Antonio Frega, Maria Rosaria Torrisi, Deborah French

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 E5 is a small protein, which is reported to display transforming activity in vitro and in animal studies. The E5 transcriptional activity, however, has been rarely reported in vivo in literature. Objectives: (a) To detect the E5 transcripts in vivo in a population of HPV 16 positive patients with abnormal cytology and (b) to correlate the level of expression to the degree of the cytological lesion. Study design and methods: 250 cytological samples of HPV positive women were obtained and tested for the E6/E7 mRNA expression. Patients were selected if HPV 16 only mRNA positive and with a cytology consistent with low-grade/high-grade squamous intra-epithelial (LSIL/HSIL) lesions. Selected patients were tested for the E5 transcripts by reverse RT PCR, comparing the expression level in vivo with a transfected HPV 16 E5 HaCaT cell line. Results: 27 HPV 16 E6/E7 mRNA positive LSIL/HSIL patients were selected. 13 out of 17 LSIL patients were tested positive for the E5 mRNA, showing an ample range of positivity. In the HSIL group 7 out of 10 patients were tested positive, displaying lower and more homogeneous levels of expression if compared with the transfected cells. Conclusion: The HPV 16 E5 transcripts levels showed a broad distribution in vivo; the discrepancy was wider in LSIL patients, with HSIL patients displaying a more homogeneous profile. However, because of the limited number of patients, we could not draw a firm conclusion about the correlation between the E5 expression and the disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-83
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Virology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • E5
  • HPV 16
  • HSIL
  • LSIL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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