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Virology. 1991 Jan;180(1):135-52.

Mutations in conformation-dependent domains of herpes simplex virus 1 glycoprotein B affect the antigenic properties, dimerization, and transport of the molecule.

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Division of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, University of California San Francisco 94143.


Glycoprotein B (gB) is a component of the herpes simplex virus 1 envelope that is required for penetration of virions into cells. We constructed 11 mutants in the gB gene by deleting the carboxy terminus of the molecule, inserting linkers into the ectodomain and intracellular region, and creating point mutations in cysteine residues. To identify regions of the molecule that affect the formation of epitopes on gB, we cloned the mutated genes into a eukaryotic expression vector, transfected them in COS-1 cells, and reacted the gene products in immunofluorescence and immunoprecipitation tests with a panel of monoclonal antibodies. Our findings are as follows. (i) The ectodomain of gB between residues 600 and 690 is highly antigenic and contains residues that specify 8 continuous epitopes and affect the conformation of 12 discontinuous epitopes. Residues that form a novel neutralizing domain and affect the assembly of gB dimers are contained in this region. Dimerization of gB does not require the transmembrane region or the intracellular carboxy terminus. (ii) Transport of the insertion mutants was aberrant and depended on the site mutagenized. Insertions of linkers at residues 391, 413, and 479 of the ectodomain precluded the binding of neutralizing antibodies that recognize residues in four discontinuous-epitope domains; the latter mutant in intact gB was not translocated to the cell surface. In contrast, insertions at residue 600 of the ectodomain and 810 of the intracellular domain did not affect the conformation-dependent epitopes or gB transport. (iii) Substitution of serines for cysteine residues in a discontinuous-epitope domain in the midregion of gB altered the conformation of both proximal and distal sites. Seven epitopes were lost by mutagenesis of cysteine 382 and 4 epitopes by mutagenesis of cysteine 334. Together with previous findings, these results indicate that the ectodomain of gB contains three topographically distinct neutralizing regions, one of continuous and two of discontinuous epitopes. The continuous-epitope domains that map at the amino terminus are not altered by distal mutations. In contrast, the domains of discontinuous epitopes, assembled by juxtaposing residues on the surface of gB, are affected by proximal and distal mutations that alter the antigenic structure, processing, and surface transport of gB.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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