Identification of cell membrane proteins that bind visna virus

S. E. Crane, J. Buzy, J. E. Clements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Visna virus infects cells of ovine origin by attaching to a cell surface receptor via its envelope glycoprotein. The identity of the visna virus receptor is not known. To identify the molecule responsible for binding the virus to target cells, virus overlay protein blot assays were used to examine the molecular weights of cell surface molecules which bind purified virus. Molecules on the surface of goat synovial membrane (GSM) cells and sheep choroid plexus (SCP) cells of approximately 15, 30, and 50 kDa bound to visna virus. The binding of visna virus to these proteins was reduced by preincubating virus with neutralizing antibodies. 125I-labeled cell membrane preparations of GSM and SCP cells were used to affinity purify these virus-binding proteins. These proteins were analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and had molecular masses of 15, 30, and 50 kDa. Antibodies to the 50-kDa protein bound to the surface of both live SCP and GSM cells in immunofluorescence assays. In addition, antibodies to the 50-kDa protein blocked the binding of [35S]methionine-labeled visna virus to SCP cells in culture. Antibodies raised against the 15- and 30-kDa proteins did not block virus binding to cells. The blocking activity of antibody to the 50-kDa protein provided data that this protein is the molecule which visna virus recognizes and binds to on the surface of target cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6137-6143
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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