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Virology. 2000 Sep 15;275(1):67-76.

Characterization of epitopes for virus-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies to Ross River virus E2 using phage-displayed random peptide libraries.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia.


Ross River virus (RRV) is the predominant cause of epidemic polyarthritis in Australia, yet the antigenic determinants are not well defined. We aimed to characterize epitope(s) on RRV-E2 for a panel of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that recognize overlapping conformational epitopes on the E2 envelope protein of RRV and that neutralize virus infection of cells in vitro. Phage-displayed random peptide libraries were probed with the MAbs T1E7, NB3C4, and T10C9 using solution-phase and solid-phase biopanning methods. The peptides VSIFPPA and KTAISPT were selected 15 and 6 times, respectively, by all three of the MAbs using solution-phase biopanning. The peptide LRLPPAP was selected 8 times by NB3C4 using solid-phase biopanning; this peptide shares a trio of amino acids with the peptide VSIFPPA. Phage that expressed the peptides VSIFPPA and LRLPPAP were reactive with T1E7 and/or NB3C4, and phage that expressed the peptides VSIFPPA, LRLPPAP, and KTAISPT partially inhibited the reactivity of T1E7 with RRV. The selected peptides resemble regions of RRV-E2 adjacent to sites mutated in neutralization escape variants of RRV derived by culture in the presence of these MAbs (E2 210-219 and 238-245) and an additional region of E2 172-182. Together these sites represent a conformational epitope of E2 that is informative of cellular contact sites on RRV.

Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

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