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Virology. 2005 Apr 25;335(1):99-105.

Differential expression of domain III neutralizing epitopes on the envelope proteins of West Nile virus strains.

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  • 1Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, Sealy Center for Vaccine Development, and Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77555-0609, USA.


Neutralization of flaviviruses by antibody is primarily mediated via epitopes in the viral envelope (E) protein. Comparative studies using neutralizing monoclonal antibodies revealed differential expression of epitopes within the E protein domain III of ten naturally occurring West Nile virus strains representing major subtypes of genetic lineages 1 and 2. Residues that defined these subtype-specific determinants were identified by mutational studies and found to be surface exposed in the domain III structure. Mutations of residue 332 had the most significant effects on variation of domain III neutralizing epitopes among strains.

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