The major neutralizing antigenic site on herpes simplex virus glycoprotein D overlaps a receptor-binding domain

J. Charles Whitbeck, Martin I. Muggeridge, Ann H. Rux, Wangfang Hou, Claude Krummenacher, Huan Lou, Albert Van Geelen, Roselyn J. Eisenberg, Gary H. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Herpes simplex virus (HSV) entry is dependent on the interaction of virion glycoprotein D (gD) with one of several cellular receptors. We previously showed that gD binds specifically to two structurally dissimilar receptors, HveA and HveC. We have continued our studies by using (i) a panel of baculovirus-produced gD molecules with various C-terminal truncations and (ii) a series of gD mutants with nonoverlapping 3-amino-acid deletions between residues 222 and 254. Binding of the potent neutralizing monoclonal antibody (MAb) DL11 (group Ib) was unaffected in forms of gD containing residues 1 to 250 but was greatly diminished in molecules truncated at residue 240 or 234. Both receptor binding and blocking of HSV infection were also affected by these C-terminal truncations. gD-l(234t) bound weakly to both HveA and HveC as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and failed to block infection. Interestingly, gD-l(240t) bound well to both receptors but blocked infection poorly, indicating that receptor binding as measured by ELISA is not the only gD function required for blocking. Optical biosensor studies showed that while gD-1 (240t) bound HveC with an affinity similar to that of gD-1(306t), the rates of complex formation and dissociation were significantly faster than for gD-1(306t). Complementation analysis showed that any 3-amino-acid deletion between residues 222 and 251 of gD resulted in a nonfunctional protein. Among this set of proteins, three had lost DL11 reactivity (those with deletions between residues 222 and 230). One of these proteins (deletion 222-224) was expressed as a soluble form in the baculovirus system. This protein did not react with DL11, bound to both HveA and HveC poorly as shown by ELISA, and failed to block HSV infection. Since this protein was bound by several other MAbs that recognize discontinuous epitopes, we conclude that residues 222 to 224 are critical for gD function. We propose that the potent virus-neutralizing activity of DL11 (and other group lb MAbs) likely reflects an overlap between its epitope and a receptor-binding domain of gD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9879-9890
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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