We recently reported the expression of human papillomavirus type 18 (HPV-18) E6 protein in bacteria and the production of anti-E6 polyclonal antibodies. This work has now been extended with the production of a panel of monoclonal antibodies against the HPV-18 E6 protein. These antibodies demonstrate that there is little antigenic conservation in the E6 protein between HPV-16 and HPV-18, with only one antibody recognizing a cross-reactive epitope. We have used both the monoclonal and the polyclonal antibodies to look for E6 expression in a number of HPV DNA-containing cell lines. These reagents specifically detected a 16.5K mol. wt. polypeptide in cells derived from a human cervical carcinoma.
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