A panel of eight neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against the fusion (F) protein of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) has been shown to locate a major antigenic site on the basis of competitive binding assay and additivity index studies. Five epitopes (A1 to A5) have been located within this site on the F protein of the Beaudette C strain of NDV on the basis of cross-resistance plaque assays of MAb-resistant mutants raised against these MAbs. Epitopes A1, A4 and A5 are distinct; epitope A2 partially overlaps epitope A3. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the F genes of MAb-resistant mutants showed that each predicted single amino acid substitutions ranging from amino acid residues 157 to 171 for epitope A4 and at residues 72, 78, 79 and 343 for epitopes A1, A2, A3 and A5 respectively. These locations indicate that both the F1 and F2 fragments are involved in the formation of a single antigenic site and suggest the involvement of extensive protein folding in the active form of this F protein.

Keyword(s): epitope mapping , fusion protein , MAb and NDV

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