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J Virol. 1991 Jan;65(1):138-46.

Distribution of linear antigenic sites on glycoprotein gp55 of human cytomegalovirus.

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  • 1Institut für Klinische und Molekulare Virologie, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Federal Republic of Germany.


Human convalescent serum and bacterial fusion proteins constructed from overlapping open reading frames of the nucleotide sequence encoding the human cytomegalovirus gp55 component of the major envelope glycoprotein complex, gp55-116 (gB), were used to localize antigenic regions recognized by human antibodies. All donor serum analyzed contained antibody reactivity for an antigenic site(s) located between amino acids (AA) 589 and 645, a region containing a previously defined linear site recognized by neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (U. Utz, B. Britt, L. Vugler, and M. Mach, J. Virol. 63:1995-2001, 1989). Furthermore, in-frame insertion of two different synthetic oligonucleotides encoding four amino acids into the sequence at nucleotide 1847 (AA 616) eliminated antibody recognition of the fusion protein. A second antibody binding site was located within the carboxyl terminus of the protein (AA 703 through 906). A competitive binding inhibition assay in which monoclonal antibodies were used to inhibit human antibody reactivity with recombinant gp55-116 (gB) suggested that the majority of human anti-gp55-116 (gB) antibodies were directed against a single antigenic region located between AA 589 and 645. Furthermore, inoculation of mice with fusion proteins containing this antigenic site led to a boostable antibody response. These results indicated that the antigenic site(s) located between AA 589 and 645 was an immunodominant antibody recognition site on gp55 and likely the whole gp55-116 (gB) molecule. The enhanced immunogenicity of this region in vivo may account for its immunodominance.

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