A glycoprotein C-prM of 35000 was immuno-precipitated from lysates of cells infected with dengue virus type 2 (DEN-2) using antisera directed against the C protein or an amino-terminal fragment of the prM glycoprotein. C-prM was not detected in infected Vero cells. The prM glycoprotein synthesized in infected and Vero cells was cleaved to produce the membrane-associated virion protein (M) and the non-M fragment (pr) immediately preceding or occurring simultaneously with the release of viral particles from cells. The cleavage was less efficient in mosquito cells. The pr fragment was found only in the medium and was not rapidly degraded. To obtain pr-specific and M-specific antisera for these studies, proteins containing fragments of DEN-2 prM fused with staphylococcal Protein A were synthesized in using the expression vector pRIT2T. The fusion proteins were stable and were used to raise antisera in rabbits for immunoprecipitation of radiolabelled cell extracts and culture medium. This is the first report of the detection of a C-prM protein in flavivirus-infected cells and the identification of the pr component of prM.


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