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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1986 Oct;83(19):7462-6.

Expression of the F glycoprotein of respiratory syncytial virus by a recombinant vaccinia virus: comparison of the individual contributions of the F and G glycoproteins to host immunity.


A cDNA clone representing the mRNA coding sequence of the fusion glycoprotein (F) gene of human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was constructed and inserted into the thymidine kinase gene of vaccinia virus (WR strain) under the control of a vaccinia virus promoter. The resulting recombinant vaccinia virus, vaccinia F, expressed the F1 and F2 cleavage products (48 and 20 kDa, respectively) of the F glycoprotein in cell culture. F1 and F2 were indistinguishable from their authentic RSV counterparts with respect to glycosylation, disulfide linkage, electrophoretic mobility, cell-surface expression, and antigenic specificity. Cotton rats infected intradermally with vaccinia F developed a high titer of serum F-specific antibodies, which neutralized infectivity of RSV. This neutralizing antibody response exceeded that induced by infection of the respiratory tract with RSV and was 6-fold higher than that induced by vaccinia G, a recombinant vaccinia virus that expressed the RSV G glycoprotein gene. Immunization with vaccinia F stimulated almost complete resistance to replication of RSV in the lower respiratory tract as well as significant resistance in the upper respiratory tract. The degree of resistance conferred by vaccinia F exceeded that induced by vaccinia G.

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