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Science. 1986 Mar 14;231(4743):1289-91.

Characterization of highly immunogenic p66/p51 as the reverse transcriptase of HTLV-III/LAV.


Approximately 80 percent of all human sera that react with antigens of HTLV-III, the etiologic agent of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), recognize protein bands at 66 and 51 kilodaltons. A mouse hybridoma was produced that was specific to these proteins. Repeated cloning of the hybridoma did not separate the two reactivities. The p66/p51 was purified from HTLV-III lysates by immunoaffinity chromatography and subjected to NH2-terminal Edman degradation. Single amino acid residues were obtained in 17 successive degradation cycles. The sequence determined was a perfect translation of the nucleotide sequence of a portion of the HTLV-III pol gene. The purified p66/51 had reverse transcriptase activity and the monoclonal immunoglobulin G specifically removed the enzyme activity from crude viral extract as well as purified enzyme.

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