The structural polypeptides of egg grown mumps virus were analysed by SDS-polyacrylamide-slab-gel electrophoresis. Mumps virions contained eight major polypeptides with mol. wt. of 75, 73, 71, 61, 47, 44, 42 and 40 × 10. The 75 K and 61 K polypeptides were glycosylated. In virions treated with pronase and trypsin, the 75 K glycoprotein was removed more readily from the virus than the 61 K glycoprotein. The gradual removal of the 75 K glycoprotein was paralleled by a decrease of haemagglutinating activity. The large glycoprotein was cleaved into a 40 K glycoprotein by trypsin treatment. Pronase and trypsin treatment also removed the smallest 40 K non-glycosylated polypeptide. Thus this polypeptide appears to be located on the outside of the virion and probably represents a cleavage product of the large glycoprotein.

Treatment of virions with 2% Triton-X 100 under alkaline conditions in the absence or presence of 2 -KCl solubilized the two glycoproteins and a fraction of the 71 and 44 K polypeptides, but not the 73 and 47 K polypeptides. The two smallest polypeptides were solubilized by treatment with 2% Triton X-100 in the presence of 2 -KCl. Since the 40 K polypeptide was interpreted to represent a cleavage product of the large surface glycoprotein the 42 K polypeptide was proposed to represent the membrane protein of mumps virus. The 44 K polypeptide co-migrated with Vero cell actin. The nature of the 47 K polypeptide could not be determined, but it is probably located in the central part of the virus. The 73 K polypeptide and in some experiments also the 71 K polypeptide were found in purified nucleocapsid preparations.

It is concluded that mumps virus has a general polypeptide composition similar to other paramyxoviruses. However, the molecular weights of the different polypeptides of mumps virus differ markedly from the corresponding polypeptides in Newcastle disease virus and Sendai virus.


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