Viral progeny of two molecular clones of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), 19k1 and 19k32, were tested in a virus neutralization assay. In this assay the infection of thymocytes with FIV19k1 was neutralized by serum S1422, derived from an SPF cat 22 weeks after infection with FIV19k1. We previously reported that a point mutation at position 560 in hypervariable region-5 (HV-5) of 19k1 confers resistance to virus neutralization (Siebelink et al., 1993, J. Virol. 67:2202-2208). Viral progeny of the other molecular clone, FIV19k32, which differs in the envelope protein in only six amino acids from 19k1, was not neutralized. In order to map sites involved in virus neutralization we constructed chimeric clones by reciprocal exchange of 19k1 and 19k32 envelope gene fragments. Reciprocal exchange of a 1662 bp fragment, encoding almost the whole surface protein, which differs in five amino acids between these two clones, resulted in exchange of the phenotype. Amino acids of the envelope protein of 19k1 and 19k32, in which these clones differ, were substituted by point mutation. We demonstrated that one of these mutations, a substitution of leucine to serine at position 483 in HV-4, also conferred resistance of 19k1 to neutralization by serum S1422.

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Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Siebelink, K., Bosch, M., Rimmelzwaan, G., Meloen, R. H., & Osterhaus, A. (1995). Two different mutations in the envelope protein of feline immunodeficiency virus allow the virus to escape from neutralization by feline serum antibodies. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 46(1-2), 51–59. doi:10.1016/0165-2427(94)07005-R