Monoclonal antibody (MAb) E-13 to human cytomegalovirus is used widely for diagnostic and fundamental studies, and has been shown to be directed against an immediate early (IE) protein(s). To determine which viral antigen is detected by MAb E-13, four subfragments from the open reading frame encoded by exons 2, 3 or 4 of IE-1 were cloned in the bacterial expression vector pROS. The resulting fusion proteins contained amino acids 77 to 491 encoded by mainly exon 4, amino acids 25 to 78 encoded by exon 3, amino acids 1 to 85 encoded by exons 2 and 3, and amino acids 1 to 24 encoded by exon 2. The reactivity of MAb E-13 with the fusion proteins was assayed by Western blotting. MAb E-13 was shown to react exclusively with proteins encoded by exon 2 and therefore recognizes IE proteins which contain the N-terminal amino acid sequence encoded by exon 2, namely the major 72K IE protein, the 82K to 86K IE-2 protein and the 52K to 55K IE-2 protein. MAb E-13 can be used to detect both IE-1- and IE-2-encoded proteins, which share the polypeptide encoded by exon 2.


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