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J Virol. Sep 1993; 67(9): 5321–5327.
PMCID: PMC237931

Mapping of B-neutralizing and T-helper cell epitopes on the bovine leukemia virus external glycoprotein gp51.


A battery of 19 synthetic peptides was used to characterize efficient neutralizing and helper T-cell epitopes on the bovine leukemia virus (BLV) external envelope glycoprotein gp51. Four of the antipeptide antisera raised in rabbits inhibited the formation of BLV-induced syncytia; these antisera are directed against peptides 64-73, 98-117, and 177-192. Only antisera directed against the 177-192 region also neutralized vesicular stomatitis virus-BLV pseudotypes. This study clearly demonstrates that neutralizing properties can be observed with antibodies raised to regions undescribed so far and included in both the amino-terminal and central parts of the antigen. In addition, some helper T-cell determinants were defined from gp51-immunized mice and from BLV-infected cattle. Although none of the peptides tested behaved as a universal helper T-cell epitope, peptide 98-117 stimulated T-cell proliferation from BALB/c mice and from three infected cows, while peptide 169-188 strongly stimulated T-cell proliferation from one infected cow. Further experiments performed with three peptides overlapping the 169-188 region (177-192, 179-192, 181-192) demonstrated the particular relevance of residue(s) P-177 and/or D-178 in the helper T-cell epitope. These data should assist in the design of an efficient subunit vaccine against BLV infection that contains peptides possessing both B-neutralizing and helper T-cell determinants.

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