Varicella-zoster virus (VZV)-infected cell surface proteins were investigated using extrinsic radiolabelling of the cell surface, immunoprecipitation of detergent-solubilized extract of the same cell surface and fractionation of the immunoprecipitates using SDS-PAGE. Glycosylated proteins were identified by their affinity for lectin. Six glycoproteins with apparent mol. wt. of 170K, 105K, 93K, 81K, 53K and 45K were identified. The 170K glycoprotein was shown to be disulphidelinked since under reducing conditions for SDS-PAGE it was cleaved to a protein of 63K mol. wt. The IgG responses to these glycoproteins during various clinical circumstances are described. In acute sera from all chickenpox patients and in the majority of acute shingles sera, antibodies reactive with glycoproteins could not be detected. In chickenpox convalescence, antibodies reactive with glycoproteins of mol. wt. 170K, 105K, 53K and 45K were identified, whilst during zoster convalescence antibodies to all six were prominent. Antibodies to the disulphide-linked glycoprotein persisted for many years following both the primary disease and its reactivation. Disseminated zoster was associated with significantly low levels of antibodies to these surface glycoproteins.


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