To investigate the contribution of individual amino acids to the antigenicity of the N-terminal region of herpes simplex virus type 1 glycoprotein D, a series of 14 overlapping synthetic peptides within residues 1 to 30 were examined for their reactivity with monoclonal antibody LP14 (a group VII monoclonal antibody; in herpes simplex virus mutants resistant to LP14, arginine 16 is substituted by histidine) and two antipeptide antisera (antipeptide 9-21 and antipeptide 1-23). Maximal binding was achieved with peptides 9-21, 10-30, 9-30, and 8-30 and the chymotryptic fragment 9-17 of peptide 9-21, suggesting that a major antigenic site is located within residues 10 through 17. Lysine 10 was shown to be essential for high reactivity, either by binding directly to the antibody molecule or by stabilizing an ordered structure of the peptide. The importance of ordered structure was demonstrated by a decrease in reactivity after sodium dodecyl sulfate treatment of peptides 9-21 and 8-30
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