Gene mapping and expression of two immunodominant Epstein-Barr virus capsid proteins

W M van Grunsven, E C van Heerde, H J de Haard, W J Spaan, J M Middeldorp

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The genomic localization of two immunodominant genes encoding two proteins of the Epstein-Barr virus capsid antigen (VCA) complex, VCA-p18 and VCA-p40, has been identified. For that purpose, lambda gt11-based cDNA libraries were constructed from HH514.c16 cells induced for virus production. The libraries were screened with a monoclonal antibody, EBV.OT41A, directed against VCA-p40 or with affinity-purified human antibodies against VCA-p18. Sequencing of the inserts of positive plaques showed that VCA-p18 and VCA-p40 are encoded within open reading frames (ORFs) BFRF3 and BdRF1, respectively. Peptide scanning analysis of the predicted protein of ORF BdRF1 resulted in defining the epitope of monoclonal antibody EBV.OT41A at the C-terminal region. The dominant VCA-p18 reactivity of human sera can be completely inhibited by preadsorption with Escherichia coli-expressed BFRF3-beta-galactosidase. Serum of a rabbit immunized with BFRF3-beta galactosidase reacts with a VCA-specific protein of 18 kDa. In addition, BFRF3-beta-galactosidase affinity-purified antibodies react with VCA-p18 of virus-producing cells (HH514.c16). Complete inhibition of viral DNA polymerase activity by phosphonoacetic acid is associated with the absence of RNAs and protein products of both ORFs, indicating that VCA-p18 and VCA-p40 are true late antigens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3908-16
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1993


  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Western
  • Capsid
  • Capsid Proteins
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Epitopes
  • Escherichia coli
  • Genes, Viral
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human
  • Journal Article
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • RNA, Viral
  • Viral Structural Proteins

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