We have identified the human herpesvirus-6 variant B (HHV-6B)-specific neutralizing epitope on glycoprotein H (gH) which is recognized by monoclonal antibody (MAb) OHV3, with complement-independent neutralizing activity. HHV-6 gHs from HHV-6A (strain U1102) and HHV-6B (strain HST) were expressed in a T7-vaccinia virus transient expression system. OHV3 reacted with HST gH, but not with U1102 gH, in an immunoprecipitation assay and an indirect immunofluorescence assay. In addition, OHV3 reacted with chimeric gHs, formed between U1102 gH and HST gH, containing amino acids 272 to 422 of HST gH. Sequence comparison between U1102 and HST showed seven amino acid differences in this region. Site-specific mutations were introduced into these positions and then reactivity against OHV3 was investigated. The arginine at position 389 of HST gH was shown to be a determinant of the HHV-6B-specific reactivity of OHV3.


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