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Int J Cancer. 1980 Aug;26(2):231-40.

Observations on the EB virus envelope and virus-determined membrane antigen (MA) polypeptides.


Experiments have been carried out to identify the polypeptide components of the Epstein-Barr (EB) virus-determined membrane antigen (MA) complex. Cells were radioiodinated using lactoperoxidase and the 125I-labelled surface antigens, released by Triton X100, were analysed by sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) after complexing either with human sera having anti-MA activity or with a rabbit antiserum to EB virus. Using cells carrying EB virus isolated from four different conditions, including for the first time nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), we have demonstrated four major polypeptides. One, with a molecular weight of 85,000, was remarkedly constant irrespective of the cell line from which it came; two, with molecular weights varying from 240,000 to 270,000 and from 320,000 to 340,000, showed minor differences in mobility apparently depending on the species of origin of the cells (human or marmoset), rather than disparity between strains of virus. A fourth component, of 160,000 daltons, was found on only two of the cell lines studied. In addition, it has been shown for the first time that the same polypeptides composing the MA complex are present on the viral envelope itself. The fact that the rabbit antiserum to EV virus recognized only the two highest molecular weight MA components, yet showed virus-neutralizing activity, indicates the importance of these two polypeptides for use in a vaccine designed to induce virus-neutralizing antibodies.

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