Multivalent Human Papillomavirus L1 DNA Vaccination Utilizing Electroporation

Kihyuck Kwak, Rosie Jiang, Subhashini Jagu, Joshua W. Wang, Chenguang Wang, Neil D. Christensen, Richard B.S. Roden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objectives: Naked DNA vaccines can be manufactured simply and are stable at ambient temperature, but require improved delivery technologies to boost immunogenicity. Here we explore in vivo electroporation for multivalent codon-optimized human papillomavirus (HPV) L1 and L2 DNA vaccination. Methods: Balb/c mice were vaccinated three times at two week intervals with a fusion protein comprising L2 residues ~11-88 of 8 different HPV types (11-88×8) or its DNA expression vector, DNA constructs expressing L1 only or L1+L2 of a single HPV type, or as a mixture of several high-risk HPV types and administered utilizing electroporation, i.m. injection or gene gun. Serum was collected two weeks and 3 months after the last vaccination. Sera from immunized mice were tested for in-vitro neutralization titer, and protective efficacy upon passive transfer to naive mice and vaginal HPV challenge. Heterotypic interactions between L1 proteins of HPV6, HPV16 and HPV18 in 293TT cells were tested by co-precipitation using type-specific monoclonal antibodies. Results: Electroporation with L2 multimer DNA did not elicit detectable antibody titer, whereas DNA expressing L1 or L1+L2 induced L1-specific, type-restricted neutralizing antibodies, with titers approaching those induced by Gardasil. Co-expression of L2 neither augmented L1-specific responses nor induced L2-specific antibodies. Delivery of HPV L1 DNA via in vivo electroporation produces a stronger antibody response compared to i.m. injection or i.d. ballistic delivery via gene gun. Reduced neutralizing antibody titers were observed for certain types when vaccinating with a mixture of L1 (or L1+L2) vectors of multiple HPV types, likely resulting from heterotypic L1 interactions observed in co-immunoprecipitation studies. High titers were restored by vaccinating with individual constructs at different sites, or partially recovered by co-expression of L2, such that durable protective antibody titers were achieved for each type. Discussion: Multivalent vaccination via in vivo electroporation requires spatial separation of individual type L1 DNA vaccines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere60507
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 25 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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