Biological activities of antisera against synthetic oligopeptides were examined. The peptide antisera were directed against amino acids 6 to 12 (pep1), 124 to 131 (pep2), 256 to 262 (pep3), 283 to 290 (pep4) and 434 to 441 (pep5) of the viral envelope glycoprotein (gp70). Peptide-specific antisera did not neutralize viral infectivity. However, antibodies to pep4 and pep5, which bound to the hydrophobic part of gp70, mediated the complement-dependent lysis of Friend murine leukaemia virus (FLV)-infected cells. STU mice were immunized against FLV-induced erythroleukaemia with synthetic oligopeptides. Vaccines containing only one of these peptides (single-peptide vaccines) as well as multi-peptide vaccines containing pep1, -4, -5 or pep1, -2, -3, -4, -5 were used. Whereas the immunizations with single-peptide vaccines did not protect the immunized mice from FLV-induced erythroleukaemia, multi-peptide vaccines enhanced the survival rate and incubation period after FLV challenge. These results revealed that immunological reactions distinct from neutralizing antibodies can be evoked by immunization with synthetic peptides and can confer limited protection against FLV-induced erythroleukaemia.


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