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Specificity and distribution of antigenic determinants on the polyoma virus capsid and nature of the reaction of immunoglobulin G antibody with the capsid surface

Journal of Molecular Biology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0022-2836(75)90393-9


Abstract Antisera to the LP and SP34 strains of polyoma virus have been prepared and their reactions with purified virions studied by double diffusion in agar and direct assay of antibody binding. One or more common antigenic determinants appear on the capsids of both strains. The form of this determinant varies slightly on each of the strains tested. The SP34 strain also carries its own strain-specific antigenic determinant. Both strains of virus were able to bind 150 anti-LP IgG ‡ ‡ Abbreviation used: IgG, immunoglobulin molecules per virion and 50 anti-SP IgG molecules per virion. The slow rate of dissociation of bound IgG antibody ( k dissociation = 2 × 10 −6 s −1), and the rapid rate of antibody binding ( k dissociation = 2 × 10 7 m −1 s −1), suggest that IgG antibody is bound to the capsid surface through two antigen-antibody bonds. 50 anti-SP IgG molecules per capsid, divalently bound, completely inhibit the binding of 150 anti-LP IgG molecules, and vice versa. Consideration of the symmetry and molecular dimensions of the IgG molecule and the polyoma virus capsid leads to a model of the divalent interaction of IgG antibody with the common antigenic determinant(s). In this model, one species of antibody binds divalently to opposed subunits of a hexamer morphological unit. The other species of antibody binds divalently to the subunits on either side of the point of tangency of any two morphological units.

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