Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications vol:324 issue:3 pages:1108-1115
Equus caballus papillomavirus type 1 (EcPV-1) was isolated from a cutaneous papilloma, the most common neoplasm in horses. The complete EcPV-1 nucleotide sequence and genomic organization were determined. Phylogenetic analysis showed that EcPV-1 is a close-to-root papillomavirus, with only distant relationships to the fibropapillomaviruses and the benign cutaneous papillomaviruses. To produce EcPV-1 virus-like particles (VLPs), the EcPV-1 L1 major capsid protein was expressed in insect cells using a recombinant baculovirus vector. The self-assembled EcPV-1 VLPs were morphologically indistinguishable from wild type papillomavirus virions. Monoclonal antibodies were developed against intact and denatured EcPV-1 VLPs. When tested by ELISA, all monoclonal antibodies produced against intact (#18) and some against denatured EcPV-1 VLPs (#16) reacted with intact EcPV-1 VLPs only, demonstrating that the VLPs carry type-specific conformational as well as linear epitopes on their surface. Recombinant EcPV-1 VLPs offer the potential of a noninfectious vaccine to prevent and eradicate equine cutaneous papillomatosis.