Previously, we have shown a common antigen of several herpesviruses (pseudorabies virus, equine abortion virus and bovine mammillitis virus) to be antigenically related to the major DNA-binding proteins of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2. In this study we have purified the cross-reacting polypeptide from cells infected with pseudorabies virus, equine abortion virus and bovine mammillitis virus and shown the cross-reacting protein to be a major DNA-binding protein for each virus. Tryptic peptide analysis of the cross-reacting DNA-binding proteins of all five viruses has shown structural similarities. The proteins thus were shown to share common antigenic sites, to have similar biological properties and to have a highly conserved amino acid sequence. This unexpected similarity between proteins from diverse herpesviruses suggests an essential and fundamental role of the major DNA-binding protein in herpes virus replication.


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