We have isolated a panel of monoclonal antibodies that recognize the DNA-binding domain of the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) immediate early polypeptide Vmw175. The mice used for the fusions had been immunized with the isolated Vmw175 DNA-binding domain. This had been purified from bacteria that carried a phage T7 expression plasmid with the DNA-binding domain coding region. The epitopes recognized by the monoclonal antibodies were mapped by using a family of truncated versions of the DNA-binding domain, which had also been expressed in the bacterial expression system. The monoclonal antibodies divided into at least four different groups according to this mapping. Several of the monoclonal antibodies recognized Vmw175 expressed in infected BHK cells by HSV-1 strain 17 in Western blots. One of them also recognized the corresponding protein of varicella-zoster virus gene 62. This is further illustration of the relatedness of the two polypeptides.


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