We report the generation and partial characterization of a panel of 11 monoclonal antibodies (MCA) made against the nondefective strain T reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV). In an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), nine MCA cross-reacted with both homologous strain T and heterologous strain chick syncytial virus (CS), whereas two MCA were strain specific and reacted with strain T but not with CS. Competitive antibody inhibitory ELISA tests demonstrated that the nine MCA recognized at least two distinct type-common epitopes. By using MCA-mediated immunoprecipitation and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis, we identified a 62,000 dalton glycoprotein that may contain both type-common epitopes and a 21,000 dalton glycoprotein that contains one of these epitopes. The competitive antibody inhibitory ELISA tests confirmed that the remaining two MCA recognize a strain T-specific epitope. We identified a 54,000 to 72,000 dalton glycoprotein that contains the type-specific epitope. All of the MCA reacted in an ELISA assay with cell-free virus preparations, suggesting that the polypeptides we identified are virion envelope glycoproteins. To identify the nonglycosylated precursor proteins, we treated infected cells with tunicamycin. We found a 48,000 polypeptide that was the nonglycosylated precursor to the 54,000 to 72,000 glycoprotein, and 48,000 and 20,000 dalton proteins that were the nonglycosylated precursors to the 62,000 and 21,000 dalton glycoproteins, respectively. These MCA may be of value in the field. They were able to distinguish in preliminary tests in ELISA between strains T and CS, which were otherwise undistinguishable in assays that made use of conventional polyvalent serum.

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