Recognition of a host cell receptor by a virus is the first and perhaps the most crucial step in initiating the disease process. This study was undertaken to identify the cellular receptor(s) for bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1). Previously, we reported the development and characterization of bovine anti-idiotypic antibodies (anti-ids) that induce neutralizing antibodies to BHV-1. These anti-ids inhibit BHV-1 penetration of permissive cells. We have used these anti-ids, which mimic an epitope on the virus glycoprotein IV (gIV), and gradient-purified virus in immunoprecipitation (IP) as well as photoaffinity labelling (PAL) assays. In the IP assays, both bovine anti-ids and BHV-1 virions coupled to Sepharose precipitated a 60K protein from I-labelled BHV-1 permissive cell membrane extracts. Normal bovine IgG or an irrelevant virus, transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), used as negative controls failed to precipitate this protein. Similarly, in the PAL assays, the 60K cell surface protein was identified on cells permissive for BHV-1 infection, but not on non-permissive cells when I-labelled ligands, the anti-ids or BHV-1 were used as probes. The iodinated ligands failed to identify the 60K protein if they had been pretreated with the antibody 1. Pretreatment of the iodinated ligands with an isotype-matched control antibody had no effect on the identification of the 60K protein present on cells permissive for BHV-1 infection. The negative controls, i.e. normal bovine IgG and TGEV, failed to identify this 60K protein on permissive or non-permissive cells. These results suggest that the 60K protein is a cellular receptor recognized by BHV-1 during the infection process.


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