At least three different antigenic determinants were distinguished on the capsid protein of the B strain of potato virus X by their differential reactivity with monoclonal antibodies. One determinant (or group of determinants) was located on the protruding N terminus which, in the assembled virus particles, is readily split off by proteases in crude plant sap or by trypsin. A second determinant (or group of determinants) was located outside the protruding N terminus on the surface of the undisturbed virus particles. In partially denatured preparations containing the protruding N terminus, this determinant became inaccessible. A third determinant (or group of determinants) became exposed only after some denaturation of the virus particles, e.g. when they were applied directly to ELISA plates or nitrocellulose membranes. In contrast to the other two determinants, this determinant was not destroyed by extensive denaturation, such as heating in solution with SDS and 2-mercaptoethanol.


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