Novel monoclonal antibody directed at the receptor binding site on the avian sarcoma and leukosis virus Env complex

J Virol. 2002 Aug;76(15):7518-27. doi: 10.1128/jvi.76.15.7518-7527.2002.


We report here on the generation of a mouse monoclonal antibody directed against Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) subgroup A Env that will be useful in functional and structural analysis of RSV Env, as well as in approaches employing the RCAS/Tva system for gene targeting. BALB/c mice were primed and given boosters twice with EnvA-expressing NIH 3T3 cells. Resulting hybridomas were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay against RCANBP virions and SU-A-immunoglobulin G immunoadhesin. One highly reactive hybridoma clone, mc8C5, was subcloned and tested in immunofluorescence, immunoprecipitation (IP), and Western blotting assays. In all three assays, mc8C5-4 subgroup-specifically recognizes SR-A Env, through the SU domain, expressed from different vectors in both avian and mammalian cells. This multifunctionality is notable for a mouse monoclonal. We furthermore observed a preference for binding to terminally glycosylated Env over core-glycosylated Env precursor in IPs, suggesting that the epitope is at least partially conformational and dependent on glycosylation. Most importantly, we found mc8C5-4 inhibited Env function: in vitro, the monoclonal not only interferes with binding of the EnvA receptor, Tva, but it also blocks the Tva-induced conformational change required for activation of the fusion peptide, without inducing that change itself. Infection of Tva-expressing avian or mammalian cells by avian sarcoma and leukosis virus (ASLV) or EnvA-pseudotyped murine leukemia virus, respectively, is efficiently inhibited by mc8C5-4. The apparent interference of the monoclonal with the EnvA-Tva complex formation suggests that the epitope seen by mc8C5 overlaps with the receptor binding site. This is supported by the observation that mutations of basic residues in hr2 or of the downstream glycosylation site, which both impair Tva-binding to EnvA, have similar effects on the binding of mc8C5. Thus, anti-ASLV-SU-A mc8C5-4 proves to be a unique new immunoreagent that targets the receptor-binding site on a prototypical retroviral envelope.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / biosynthesis
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Avian Leukosis Virus / metabolism*
  • Avian Proteins
  • Avian Sarcoma Viruses / metabolism*
  • Binding Sites
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Receptors, Virus / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Virus / immunology
  • Receptors, Virus / metabolism
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / chemistry
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Avian Proteins
  • Receptors, Virus
  • Tva receptor
  • Viral Envelope Proteins