Expression of the Marek's disease virus homolog of herpes simplex virus glycoprotein B in Escherichia coli and its identification as B antigen
Chen, X.; Velicer, L.F.
Journal of Virology 66(7): 4390-4398
Marek's disease (MD) is an oncogenic disease of chickens caused by MD virus (MDV). Among the major glycoproteins found in MDV-infected cells are gp100, gp60, and gp49, detected by immunoprecipitation and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis with antisera previously shown to be reactive with B antigen in immunodiffusion analysis. Following treatment with tunicamycin (TM), an inhibitor of N-linked glycosylation, the same sera were reported to detect two molecules called pr88 and pr44. However, the gene encoding B antigen was not unequivocally identified. Recently, an MDV homolog of the gene encoding herpes simplex virus glycoprotein B (gB) was identified and sequenced (L. J. N. Ross, M. Sanderson, S. D. Scott, M. M. Binns, T. Doel, and B. Milne, J. Gen. Virol. 70:1789-1804, 1989). To determine whether the MDV gB homolog gene might encode the B antigen, antisera against trpE fusion proteins of the MDV gB homolog (trpE-MDV-gB) were prepared. These antisera immunoprecipitated gp100, gp60, gp49, and a 92-kDa precursor polypeptide (pr88, now designated 92-kDa pr88, in the presence of TM) from MDV-infected cell lysates. On the basis of size comparison, trpE-MDV-gB competition and blocking assays, and the fact that gp100, gp60, gp49, and 92-kDa pr88 could be detected in MDV-infected cells with antisera specific to both MDV B antigen and the gB homolog, it was concluded that (i) the MDV gB homolog gene encodes MDV B antigen and (ii) 92-kDa pr88 is the primary precursor polypeptide. The antisera against trpE-MDV-gB also contained antibody reactive with the herpesvirus of turkey gB homolog, consistent with the known antigenic relatedness between the MDV and herpesvirus of turkey B antigens. TM inhibition data and results from pulse-chase analysis with MDV-infected cells show that MDV gB homolog processing involves cotranslational glycosylation of 92-kDa pr88 to form gp100, which is then cleaved to form gp60 and gp49, the N- and C-terminal halves, respectively, of gp100. This processing pathway is consistent with those of other gB homologs, further supporting the gene identification described above. The conclusions of this study will facilitate future research on the immunobiology of MD, especially studies on the mechanism of immunoprotection.