Tick-borne encephalitis virus codes for two major immunogenic polypeptides, one of which is the major virion envelope protein E, and the other, NV3, does not have a designated function at present. The intracellular forms of both the E and NV3 polypeptides contain at least four types of sugar residues, i.e. galactose, glucosamine, fucose and mannose. The only glycoprotein in the extracellular virion particles is E. Experiments performed in the presence of tunicamycin have demonstrated that most of these sugars are -linked. The kinetics of synthesis of E and NV3 have been studied and both show a distinct lag period between initiation of protein synthesis and the appearance of either protein. The kinetics of synthesis of these proteins are consistent with the hypothesis that initiation of protein synthesis starts at the 5′ end of a polycistronic genome but the synthesis of the E and NV3 proteins only occurs after translocation of the polyribosome complex to specific areas in the infected cell. No precursors to either the E or NV3 glycoproteins were detected. Synthesis of both glycoproteins can be detected as early as 6 h after infection and rises to a maximum at 15 h after infection.

Keyword(s): glycoproteins , subunit vaccines and TBEV

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