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Virology. 1990 Sep;178(1):263-72.

Cell surface expression of the varicella-zoster virus glycoproteins and Fc receptor.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242.


Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) specifies the synthesis of viral glycoproteins which are important antigens for induction of the host immune response. In this report the technology of laser-activated flow cytometry has been employed to measure the membrane expression of VZV glycoproteins gpI, gpII, gpIII, and gpIV. By use of biotinylated monoclonal antibodies as probes, all four glycoproteins were demonstrated on the infected cell surface. The temporal appearance of the viral glycoproteins was defined in a time course experiment and shown to be maximal about 24 hr postinfection. The issue whether VZV induces the cell surface expression of an Fc receptor (FcR) was investigated with biotinylated nonimmune human IgG, followed by streptavidin-phycoerythrin. By this technique a 10-fold increase in fluorescence intensity was seen in the VZV-infected cells as compared to the mock-infected controls. When the experiment was repeated with purified human Fc fragment rather than whole IgG, a similar degree of binding was seen. Both the VZV glycoproteins and the VZV FcR were exquisitely sensitive to trypsin treatment (1 mg/ml); likewise, the cell surface expression of these VZV products was diminished by treatment of the infected cultures with monensin, an inhibitor of glycoprotein transport. In order to prove that VZV infection was not causing the induction of a cellular Fc gamma R, the VZV-infected and mock-infected cells were stained with monoclonal antibodies directed against each of the three human cellular IgG FcR, but no differences were observed. Therefore, the FcR activity seen in the infected culture was not due to one of the known cellular Fc gamma R.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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