Increased HPV L1 gene methylation and multiple infection status lead to the difference of cervical epithelial cell lesion in different ethnic women of Xinjiang, China

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Human papillomavirus (HPV) L1 gene methylation deeply involved in the progression and heterogeneity of cervical cell epithelial lesions. The DNA ploidy also represented the early lesions of cervical cell, and it was associated with different HPV infection status in different ethnic women. So, the research was to explore whether it was possible that HPV L1 gene methylation and HPV infection status as the risk factors to lead to the differences of cervical epithelial cells’ lesions in different ethnics women.

The flow-through hybridization and gene chip for HPV genotypes test, general characteristics, and cervical exfoliated cell samples were collected from 94 Uygur and 79 Han women with HPV-16 infection. The cases were divided into the single HPV-16 (sHPV-16) infection group and multiple HPV-16 (mHPV-16) infection group in each ethnic women. The DNA ploidy was analyzed by flow cytometry, and the methylation-sensitive high resolution melting (MS-HRM) was used to test the HPV-16 L1 gene methylation, the results of methylation was segmented into mild methylation, moderate methylation, and severe methylation groups. Multifactor logistic analysis explored the relation between DNA heteroploid and HPV-16 infection status, HPV-16 L1 gene methylation in different ethnic women.

The higher proportion of mHPV-16 infection in Uygur than Han women (61.7% vs 38.0%). L1 gene methylation had statistic difference between single and mHPV-16 infection under the same ethnic women. The proportion of DNA heteroploid had statistic difference between different HPV-16 infection status or different L1 gene methylation grades in Han or Uygur women. Both L1 gene methylation and HPV infection status were the risk factors of DNA heteroploid. Compared to the sHPV-16 infection, the odds ratio (OR) of mHPV-16 infection were 4.409 (CI: 1.398–13.910) and 3.279 (CI: 1.069–10.060) in Han and Uygur women. Compared the mild L1 gene methylation, the OR of moderate L1 gene methylation were 3.313 (CI: 1.002–10.952) and 5.075 (CI: 1.385–18.603) in Han and Uygur women, the OR of severe L1 gene methylation were 20.592 (CI: 3.691–114.880) and 63.634 (CI: 10.400–389.368) in Han and Uygur women.

The study first reported that HPV L1 gene methylation and HPV infection status were the risk factors to the DNA heteroploid of cervical cell in different ethnics women, HPV L1 gene methylation and infection status should be recommended to the existing system of cervical lesion screening in order to provide better serves for the HPV infected women, especially for the ethnic women with high proportion of severe L1 gene methylation and multiple infection status.

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