Identification and antigenic epitope mapping of immunodominant region amino residues 510 to 672 on the spike protein of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus

DNA and Cell Biology
Ronghong HuaGuangzhi Tong


The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a newly emerging human infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV is a major virion structural protein. It plays an important role in the interaction with receptors and neutralizing antibodies. In this study, the S1 domain of the spike protein and three truncated fragments were expressed by fusion with GST in a pGEX-6p-1 vector. Western blot results demonstrated that the 510-672 fragment of the S1 domain is a linear epitope dominant region. To map the antigenic epitope of this linear epitope dominant region, a set of 16 partially overlapping fragments spanning the fragment were fused with GST and expressed. Four antigenic epitopes S1C3 (539-559), S1C4 (548-567), S1C7/8 (583-606), and S1C10/11 (607-630) were identified. Immunization of mice with each of the four antigenic epitope-fused proteins revealed that all four proteins could elicit spike protein specific antisera. All of them were able to bind to the surface domain of the whole spike protein expressed by recombinant baculovirus in insect cells. Identification of antigenic epitopes of the spike protein of SARS-CoV may provide the basis for the d...Continue Reading


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