Generation of type-specific probes for the detection of single-copy human papillomavirus by a novel in situ hybridization method

Chao Cheng Huang, Jian Tai Qiu, Matthew L. Kashima, Robert J. Kurman, T. C. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


The integration of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA is associated with the pathogenesis of HPV-associated malignancies. The ability, however, of standard in situ hybridization (ISH) to detect low-copy integrated HPV DNA is limited. We describe the generation of HPV type-specific biotin-labeled DNA probes and a novel ISH method that uses the catalyzed reporter deposition (CARD) system for the detection of single-copy target HPV DNA in formalin- fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue. Consensus primers flanking the noncoding region of HPVs were used to generate biotin-labeled HPV-6b, -11, -16 and -18 probes by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The probes were used for ISH with the novel technique of CARD to increase the sensitivity of the assay. Tissue blocks were prepared from CaSki (500-600 copies of HPV-16), SiHa (1-2 copies of HPV-16), and HeLa (10-50 copies of HPV-18) cell lines, as well as from an HPV-negative cell line, C33A, and then tested to demonstrate the sensitivity and specificity of the probes. Surgical specimens were used to show the clinical applicability of this technique. We successfully detected HPV-16 DNA in CaSki and SiHa cells but not in HeLa or C33A cells. HPV-18 DNA was detected in HeLa cells but not in CaSki, SiHa, or C33A cells. Sensitivity was increased when ISH was performed using probes with more biotin incorporation or when more cycles of signal amplification were employed, but significant nonspecific background was observed after more than two cycles of signal amplification. The probes generated in this study detected specific types of HPV in surgical specimens with much higher sensitivity than did conventional ISH. We concluded that our new method was highly sensitive and could be applied to formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded clinical material for the detection of HPV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-977
Number of pages7
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1998


  • Catalyzed reporter deposition
  • Consensus primer
  • Human papillomavirus
  • In situ hybridization
  • Noncoding region
  • Polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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