Mutagenic Analysis and Localization of a Highly Conserved Epitope Near the Amino-Terminal End of the Citrus Tristeza Closterovirus Capsid Protein
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AutorPappu,H. R.; Pappu,S. S.; Kano,T.; Koizumi,M.; Cambra,M.; Moreno,P.; Su,H. J.; Garnsey,S. M.; Lee,R. F.; Niblett,C. L.
The monoclonal antibody (MAb) 3DF1 is the first commercially available citrus tristeza closterovirus (CTV)-specific MAb. It detects a broad spectrum of CTV isolates from various parts of the world. To precisely map the antigenic determinant recognized by 3DF1, the capsid protein (CP) genes of four 3DF1-nonreactive isolates were cloned as complementary DNA and their nucleotide sequences determined. Comparison of the deduced CP sequences of the four nonreactive isolates with those of previously sequenced 3DF1-reactive isolates revealed differences at three positions near their amino terminal ends. The amino acids Asp-2, Lys-13, and Phe-28 were conserved in all the 3DF1-reactive isolates, but they were replaced by Gly, Thr/Asp, and Tyr, respectively, in the CPs of the nonreactive isolates. Site-specific mutations were introduced into the cloned CP genes of the 3DF1-nonreactive isolate B215 and the 3DF1-reactive isolate T36. The serological reactivities of the wild-type and mutant CPs of B215 and T36 expressed as recombinant fusion proteins in Escherichia coli were evaluated by Western blot analysis. A point mutation (A-->G) resulting in an Asp-->Gly change at amino acid position 2 of the CP of isolate T36 abolished the reactivity with the MAb, whereas a reverse mutation resulting in a Gly-->Asp change at the same position conferred reactivity on the CP of the nonreactive B215 isolate. The implications of the observed antigenic diversity on virus detection are discussed.