Signal cleavage sites of equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) glycoproteins D and B (gD and gB) and an endoproteolytic cleavage site of EHV-1 gB were determined by N-terminal amino acid sequencing and compared with known cleavage sites of homologues in other herpesviruses. Signal cleavage of EHV-1 gD occurred between Arg and Ala in a region of basic amino acids resembling the endoproteolytic cleavage sites of viral glycoproteins, nine amino acids downstream of the predicted site, while EHV-1 gB was cleaved as predicted between Ala and Val. Endoproteolytic cleavage of EHV-1 gB occurred between Arg and Ala, 28 amino acids downstream of the cleavage site predicted from conserved sequences of other herpesvirus gB homologues. One interpretation of these data is that EHV-1 gB is cleaved internally at both sites, a possibility which was supported by the apparent molecular masses of the unglycosylated gB subunits produced in the presence of tunicamycin. This double cleavage would release a stretch of amino acids which is not present in sequenced gB molecules of other herpesviruses. Experiments with glycosylation inhibitors indicated that cleavage of EHV-1 gB can occur in the absence of glycosylation. N-terminal sequencing also determined that a 42 kDa EHV-1 glycoprotein was a product of internal cleavage of the protein encoded by gene 71. Staggered endoproteolytic cleavage after adjacent arginine residues 506 and 507 separates the 42 kDa C-terminal subunit containing all the cysteine residues from the serine and threonine rich N-terminal region.


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