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Virus Genes. 2007 Dec;35(3):521-9. Epub 2007 Jul 6.

Antigenic characterisation of yeast-expressed lyssavirus nucleoproteins.

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Institute of Biotechnology, V. Graiciūno 8, 02241, Vilnius, Lithuania.


In Europe, three genotypes of the genus Lyssavirus, family Rhabdoviridae, are present, classical rabies virus (RABV, genotype 1), European bat lyssavirus type 1 (EBLV-1, genotype 5) and European bat lyssavirus type 2 (EBLV-2, genotype 6). The entire authentic nucleoprotein (N protein) encoding sequences of RABV (challenge virus standard, CVS, strain), EBLV-1 and EBLV-2 were expressed in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae at high level. Purification of recombinant N proteins by caesium chloride gradient centrifugation resulted in yields between 14-17, 25-29 and 18-20 mg/l of induced yeast culture for RABV-CVS, EBLV-1 and EBLV-2, respectively. The purified N proteins were evaluated by negative staining electron microscopy, which revealed the formation of nucleocapsid-like structures. The antigenic conformation of the N proteins was investigated for their reactivity with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against different lyssaviruses. The reactivity pattern of each mAb was virtually identical between immunofluorescence assay with virus-infected cells, and ELISA and dot blot assay using the corresponding recombinant N proteins. These observations lead us to conclude that yeast-expressed lyssavirus N proteins share antigenic properties with naturally expressed virus protein. These recombinant proteins have the potential for use as components of serological assays for lyssaviruses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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