Previous studies have shown that microglobulin ( m) is associated with glycoproteins present on the envelope of urinary human cytomegalovirus (CMV). m is non-covalently associated with the α chain of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I antigens and therefore it was of interest to determine whether the class I α chain is also associated with the m–CMV complex. Using a panel of monoclonal antibodies recognizing different conformational determinants on the HLA class I heterodimer or free m, we have shown that m but not the α chain of HLA class I could be immunoprecipitated from I-surface-labelled virions purified directly from urine. We therefore conclude that host class I HLA α chains are not associated with m on the envelope of urinary CMV.


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