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J Virol. May 1986; 58(2): 263–270.
PMCID: PMC252909

Use of bacterial expression cloning to define the amino acid sequences of antigenic determinants on the G2 glycoprotein of Rift Valley fever virus.


Four distinct antigenic determinants along the G2 glycoprotein encoded by the M segment RNA of the Phlebovirus Rift Valley fever virus were localized. These epitopes were defined by four monoclonal antibodies, three of which were capable of neutralizing virus infectivity; one was nonneutralizing. Immunoprecipitation by these monoclonal antibodies of either denatured or native antigen characterized the epitopes as having linear or higher order structure. Molecular cloning of G2 glycoprotein-coding sequences into a bacterial expression plasmid utilizing a beta-galactosidase fusion protein system was employed for epitope localization. A nuclease BAL 31 plasmid expression library, in which processive regions of the 3' end of the G2 glycoprotein coding sequences were deleted, allowed for approximation of the carboxy-terminal limit of the antigenic determinants. Further subcloning of limited G2 polypeptide sequences into the bacterial expression vector permitted more refined localization of the epitopes. The characteristics of the immunoreactivity of these small peptide regions (between 11 and 34 amino acids) produced in bacteria as G2-beta-galactosidase fusion proteins were similar to those of the authentic Rift Valley fever virus G2 glycoprotein. These defined antigenic determinants and their importance in virus infectivity are discussed.

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