1887

Abstract

The structural changes of the nominal phosphoprotein (P) of rabies virus using a monoclonal antibody, mAb #402-13, was investigated. This mAb recognized a linear epitope that was mapped roughly to a C-terminal region of the P protein, ranging from aa 256 to 297. The P gene products were detected by the mAb in immunoblot assays, the products of which were produced either in BHK-21 cells or in cells. The mAb, however, detected very low levels of P gene products in immunoprecipitation assays. The mAb recognized the nucleocapsid (NC)-associated P proteins but recognized free P protein and free N–P complex produced in the infected cells much less efficiently. When the P proteins were released from the NC, however, they were no longer recognized by the mAb. Similar results were obtained from BHK-21 cells co-transfected with P and N cDNAs. Furthermore, studies with C-terminally truncated P protein mutants revealed that the NC-binding ability of the P protein was dependent on the presence of the C-terminal epitope region. From these results, it is thought that the 402-13 epitope region is concealed when the P protein is present in a free form or free N–P complex but is exposed when it is associated with the NC. The C-terminal epitope region seemed to be essential for the P protein to be associated with the NC but not for the formation of free N–P complexes with newly synthesized N protein.

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2002-12-01
2021-07-27
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