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J Virol. 1992 Nov;66(11):6555-62.

A synthetic peptide to the E glycoprotein of Murray Valley encephalitis virus defines multiple virus-reactive T- and B-cell epitopes.

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  • 1Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Fort Collins, Colorado 80522.


Synthetic peptides from the envelope glycoprotein sequence of Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) virus were previously evaluated in various strains of mice for both the induction of antibody and the in vitro proliferation of peptide-primed T-helper (Th) cells. MVE peptide 6 (amino acids 230 to 251) elicited reciprocal Th- and B-cell reactivity with native MVE virus after primary inoculation of C57BL/6 mice. In this study, we prepared overlapping subunit peptides of MVE peptide 6 and evaluated their immunogenicity. Analysis of these peptides delineated at least two B-cell epitopes that induced antibody reactive with MVE and other Japanese encephalitis serocomplex viruses. This antibody at low titer neutralized MVE virus. Genetic restriction of the antibody response to various T-cell elements within peptide 6 was observed in C3H, BALB/c, C57BL/6, and B10 congenic mice. One element demonstrable after primary immunization, located in the carboxy terminus, associated only with major histocompatibility complex class II IAb and IAbiEk glycoproteins. Functional stimulation with the peptides in association with IAkIEk and IAdIEd molecules was observed only after in vivo secondary stimulation. Peptide 6-1 (amino acids 230 to 241) was nonimmunogenic but could be recognized by Th cells from peptide 6-immunized mice. Further association of peptide 6 with the IAkIEk and IAdIEd subregions was demonstrated by the finding that T cells from MVE peptide 6-inoculated C3H and BALB/c mice primed for an antibody response to MVE virus. These results suggest that the peptide 6 sequence, which is relatively conserved among a number of flaviviruses, should be given consideration when synthetic immunogens for vaccine purposes are designed.

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