Identification and characterization of murine gammaherpesvirus 68 gp150: a virion membrane glycoprotein

J P Stewart, N J Janjua, S D Pepper, G Bennion, M Mackett, T Allen, A A Nash, J R Arrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) is a naturally occurring virus of murid rodents which displays pathobiological characteristics similar to those of other gammaherpesviruses, including Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). However, unlike EBV and many other gammaherpesviruses, MHV-68 replicates in epithelial cells in vitro and infects laboratory strains of mice and therefore provides a good model for the study of gammaherpesviruses. Studies of sequences around the center of the MHV-68 genome identified a gene (designated BPRF1 for BamHI P fragment rightward open reading frame 1) whose putative product had motifs reminiscent of a transmembrane glycoprotein. All other gammaherpesviruses have a glycoprotein in this genomic position, but the BPRF1 gene showed sequence homology with only the EBV membrane antigen gp340/220. Biochemical analysis showed that the product of BPRF1 was a glycoprotein present on the surface of infected cells, and immunoelectron microscopy showed that it was present in the virus particle. In addition, antibodies to the BPRF1 product raised by using a bacterial fusion protein neutralized the virus in the absence of complement. The predominant molecular weights of the protein were 150,000 and 130,000. Pulse-chase analysis and endoglycosidase-H digestion showed that the 130,000-molecular-weight form was a precursor of the 150,000-molecular-weight form, and cell surface labelling showed that the 150,000-molecular-weight form alone was on the cell surface. We therefore named the protein gp150. Since gp150 is the first virion-associated glycoprotein and neutralizing determinant of MHV-68 to be characterized, it provides a valuable tool for the future study of virus-host interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3528-35
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1996


  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Gammaherpesvirinae
  • Genes, Viral
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Weight
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • Virion


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