Two strains of human parainfluenza virus 2 (HPV2), P 1972/6 and P 1980, grow to high titre in MEK cells, and their structural proteins and virus-induced protein synthesis have been characterized by gel electrophoresis and immunoprecipitation. Purified viruses contain seven polypeptides, including cellular actin: L (175K mol. wt.), HN (72K to 74K), NP (66K to 67K), F (52K to 58K), P (49K), A (44.5K) and M (39K). Virus-induced polypeptide synthesis was first detected at 8 h post-infection with the appearance of NP; other major structural proteins were detected from 10 to 12 h after infection and onwards. The synthesis of both the structural glycoproteins was demonstrated, although proteolytic processing could not be detected. Reproducible differences in the gel migration of the HN, F and NP polypeptides were found in whole virus, in infected cells and cells subjected to immunoprecipitation. These differences may reflect genetic diversity within HPV2 and provide a means of probing the molecular epidemiology of these viruses.


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