Evolutionary variation of papillomavirus E2 protein and E2 binding sites

Adam Rogers, MacKenzie Waltke, Peter C. Angeletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: In an effort to identify the evolutionary changes relevant to E2 function, within and between papillomavirus genera, we evaluated the E2 binding sites (E2BS)s inside the long-control-region (LCR), and throughout the genomes. We identified E2BSs in the six largest genera of papillomaviruses: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Lambda, and Xi-papillomaviruses (128 genomes), by comparing the sequences with a model consensus we created from known functional E2BSs (HPV16, HPV18, BPV1). We analyzed the sequence conservation and nucleotide content of the 4-nucleotide spacer within E2BSs. We determined that there is a statistically significant difference in GC content of the four-nucleotide E2BS spacer, between Alpha and Delta-papillomaviruses, as compared to each of the other groups. Additionally, we performed multiple alignments of E2 protein sequences using members of each genus in order to identify evolutionary changes within the E2 protein. Results: When a phylogenetic tree was generated from E2 amino acid sequences, it was discovered that the alpha-papillomavirus genera segregates into two distinct subgroups (1 and 2). When these subgroups were individually analyzed, it was determined that the subgroup 1 consensus E2BS favored a spacer of AAAA, whereas subgroup 2 favored the opposite orientation of the same spacer; TTTT. This observation suggests that these conserved inverted linkers could have functional importance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number379
JournalVirology Journal
StatePublished - 2011


  • DNA binding Domain
  • E2 Protein
  • Human papillomavirus
  • extrachromosomal DNA
  • persistent infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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