Analysis of Sequence Variation and Risk Association of Human Papillomavirus 52 Variants Circulating in Korea

Introduction

Human papillomavirus (HPV) 52 is a carcinogenic, high-risk genotype frequently detected in cervical cancer cases from East Asia, including Korea.

Materials and Methods

Sequences of HPV52 detected in 91 cervical samples collected from women attending Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital were analyzed. HPV52 genomic sequences were obtained by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based sequencing and analyzed using Seq-Scape software, and phylogenetic trees were constructed using MEGA6 software.

Results

Of the 91 cervical samples, 40 were normal, 22 were low-grade lesions, 21 were high-grade lesions and 7 were squamous cell carcinomas. Four HPV52 variant lineages (A, B, C and D) were identified. Lineage B was the most frequently detected lineage, followed by lineage C. By analyzing the two most frequently detected lineages (B and C), we found that distinct variations existed in each lineage. We also found that a lineage B-specific mutation K93R (A379G) was associated with an increased risk of cervical neoplasia.

Conclusions

To our knowledge, we are the first to reveal the predominance of the HPV52 lineages, B and C, in Korea. We also found these lineages harbored distinct genetic alterations that may affect oncogenicity. Our findings increase our understanding on the heterogeneity of HPV52 variants, and may be useful for the development of new diagnostic assays and therapeutic vaccines.