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J Gen Virol. 2005 Apr;86(Pt 4):1103-7.

Epitope mapping of human respiratory syncytial virus 22K transcription antitermination factor: role of N-terminal sequences in protein folding.

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Centro Nacional de Microbiología, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Majadahonda, 28220 Madrid, Spain.


The reactivity of a panel of 12 monoclonal antibodies raised against the human respiratory syncytial virus 22 kDa (22K) protein was tested by Western blotting with a set of 22K deletion mutants. The results obtained identified sequences in the C-terminal half of the 22K polypeptide required for integrity of most antibody epitopes, except for epitope 112, which was lost in mutants with short N-terminal deletions. This antibody, in contrast to the others, failed to immunoprecipitate the native 22K protein, indicating that the N terminus of this protein is buried in the native molecule and exposed only under the denaturing conditions of Western blotting. In addition, N-terminal deletions that abolished reactivity with monoclonal antibody 112 also inhibited phosphorylation of the 22K protein previously identified at Ser-58 and Ser-61, suggesting that the N terminus is important in regulating the 22K protein phosphorylation status, most likely as a result of its requirement for protein folding.

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