Four antigenic domains (A, B, C and D) on envelope glycoprotein E1 (gp51-54) of hog cholera virus strain Brescia have been specified by using 13 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that recognize non-conserved and conserved epitopes. It was shown that the non-conserved epitopes map to the N-terminal half of E1 by analysis of chimeric E1 proteins of strains Brescia and C. Conserved epitopes, however, could not be mapped using this approach. Here we describe mapping of both conserved and non-conserved epitopes on E1 by the use of an extensive set of single and double deletion mutants of E1 of strain Brescia. Deletion mutants were transiently expressed in COS1 cells and analysed by immuno-staining with the 13 MAbs directed against strain Brescia and four MAbs directed against strain C. All MAbs bound to the N-terminal half of E1, i.e. amino acids 690 to 866 encoded by the sequence of strain Brescia. Domain B and one epitope in domain C are located between residues 690 and 773. Other epitopes in domain C are located on an extended region, i.e. between residues 690 and 800. Conserved epitopes of domain A are mapped between residues 766 and 866, whereas the only non-conserved epitope in this domain is located between residues 766 and 813. Domain D, represented by one MAb, is located in the same region as this non-conserved epitope of domain A, i.e. between residues 766 and 800. The results suggest the presence of two distinct antigenic units on E1, one consisting of domains B and C and the other consisting of domain A.


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