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Genetic and Epigenetic Variations of HPV52 in Cervical Precancer

The goal of this study was to identify human papillomavirus (HPV) type 52 genetic and epigenetic changes associated with high-grade cervical precancer and cancer. Patients were selected from the HPV Persistence and Progression (PaP) cohort, a cervical cancer screening program at Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC). We performed a nested case-control study of 89 HPV52-positive women, including 50 cases with predominantly cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 (CIN3) and 39 controls without evidence of abnormalities. We conducted methylation analyses using Illumina sequencing and viral whole genome Sanger sequencing. Of the 24 CpG sites examined, increased methylation at CpG site 5615 in HPV52 L1 region was the most significantly associated with CIN3, with a difference in median methylation of 17.9% (odds ratio (OR) = 4.8, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.9-11.8) and an area under the curve of 0.73 (AUC; 95% CI = 0.62-0.83). Complete genomic sequencing of HPV52 isolates revealed associations between SNPs present in sublineage C2 and a higher risk of CIN3, with ORs ranging from 2.8 to 3.3. This study identified genetic and epigenetic HPV52 variants associated with high risk for cervical precancer, improving the potential for early diagnosis of cervical neoplasia caused by HPV52.

Authors: Bee KJ; Gradissimo A; Chen Z; Harari A; Schiffman M; Raine-Bennett T; Castle PE; Clarke M; Wentzensen N; Burk RD

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jun 16;22(12). Epub 2021-06-16.

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