1887

Abstract

Persistent viruses disseminate from immune hosts. They must therefore resist neutralization by antibody. Murine gammaherpesvirus-68 (MHV-68) represents an accessible model with which to address how resistance to neutralization is achieved and how overcoming it might improve infection control. The MHV-68 glycoprotein B (gB), like that of other herpesviruses, is a virion protein that is essential for infectivity. As such, it presents a potential neutralization target. In order to test whether virus-induced antibodies reduce virion infectivity by binding to gB, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were derived from MHV-68-infected mice. gB-specific mAbs were common, but only an IgM specific for the gB N terminus reduced virion infectivity significantly. It inhibited MHV-68 entry into BHK-21 cells at a post-binding step that was linked closely to membrane fusion. Reducing the mAb to IgM monomers compromised neutralization severely, suggesting that a pentameric structure was crucial to its function. Antibody treatment never blocked BHK-21 cell infection completely and blocked the infection of NMuMG epithelial cells hardly at all. Virions saturated with antibody also remained infectious to mice. Thus, the MHV-68 gB presents at best a very difficult target for antibody-mediated neutralization.

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2006-12-01
2020-10-23
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