The adenovirus hexon has been shown by several workers (Wilcox, Ginsberg & Anderson, 1963; Valentine & Pereira, 1965; Norrby, 1966) to correspond to the main cross-reactive antigen shared by all adenovirus serotypes of mammalian origin. However, purified preparations of hexon induce the production of homotypic virus neutralizing antibodies (Wilcox & Ginsberg, 1963; Kasel 1964, 1966; Kjellén & Pereira, 1968; Norrby, 1969) suggesting that this virus component contains type-specific as well as group-specific antigenic determinants. This suggestion is supported by results of immonodiffusion tests reported by Köhler (1965). Pettersson, Philipson & Höglund (1968) on the other hand, reported failure of purified hexon of adenovirus type 2 to induce virus neutralizing antibody.

The crystallization of hexons from human adenovirus types 2 and 5 provided us with the conditions to investigate the immunological and biochemical properties of this virus component with highly purified materials.


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