Domain structure of herpes simplex virus 1 glycoprotein B: Neutralizing epitopes map in regions of continuous and discontinuous residues

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Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) glycoprotein B (gB) is a multifunctional glycoprotein required for infectivity; it is thought to promote fusion of the viral envelope with the cell membrane and entry of virions into cells. To map the antigenic and functional domains on gB, we constructed amino terminal derivatives lacking the entire carboxyl terminus and internal deletion mutants lacking defined regions of the extracellular and transmembrane domains. Transient expression of the mutants in COS-1 cells revealed that the amino terminal derivatives were released into the medium whereas those with deletions in the extracellular domain were mostly retained within the transfected cells. Analysis of intact gB and the amino terminal derivatives showed that the intact molecule formed dimers whereas the mutant derivatives did not. Reactions of the derivatives with a panel of well-characterized monoclonal antibodies to gB showed that the neutralizing epitopes cluster in two domains. The first maps in the amino terminal 190 residues and contains seven continuous epitopes, five of which are HSV-1-specific. Reactions of antibodies with a set of oligopeptides fine-mapped the epitopes between residues 1 and 47. The second domain is composed of discontinuous epitopes and was expressed by amino terminal derivatives that were at least 457 residues in length or longer. Eleven epitopes map in this region, including those of four potent neutralizing antibodies whose cognitive sites mapped between residues 273 and 298 in mapping studies using antibody-resistant mutants. Results of the present study indicate that the cognitive sites of these antibodies are assembled into the discontinuous domain by juxtaposing residues from the amino-terminal half of gB monomers. © 1989.

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