The biochemical and immunological properties of the polypeptides of canine distemper virus (CDV), their synthesis and processing in infected cells, and their relatedness to the polypeptides of other morbilliviruses have been studied. CDV virions contain six major polypeptides which are analogous to those of measles virus (MV). These polypeptides with their estimated molecular weights (mr) are: L (200,000); H (76,000); P (66,000); NP (58,000); F (62,000), which consists of two disulfide-linked polypeptides, F1 (40,000) and F2 (23,000); and M (34,000). The H, F1, and F2 polypeptides of CDV are glycosylated; the presence of carbohydrate on F1 is in contrast to its absence on the F1 of MV. The CDV F2 has a larger apparent Mr than the MV F2 (23,000 vs 12,000). The NP and P polypeptides of CDV are phosphorylated, and in pulse-chase experiments in CDV-labe;ed cells the P polypeptide was rapidly lost. In addition to the structural polypeptides, a putative nonstructural protein, NS (Mr ∼ 18,000), was found in CDV-infected cells. The polypeptide also turned over rapidly in pulse-chase experiments. The immunological relatedness of the polypeptides of MV and CDV and of two other morbilliviruses, rinderpest (RV) and a bovine encephalitis virus (107) was shown by immuno-precipitation of the viral polypeptides from CDV- and MV-infected cells with antisera against each of the four viruses. The only failure to exhibit reciprocal reactivity between CDV and MV was found with the H polypeptides, where only a one-way cross was found, i.e., MV antiserum precipitated all of the CDV polypeptides, whereas CDV antiserum precipitated all of the MV polypeptides except H. RV antiserum resembled that of MV; it precipitated all of the polypeptides of both MV and CDV, whereas 107 antiserum, like that of CDV, precipitated all of the CDV polypeptides and all of the MV polypeptides except H. These results indicate that these four morbilliviruses with different host ranges are antigenically closely related, with MV apparently more closely related to RV, and CDV to 107 virus. In spite of their antigenic similarities, the individual polypeptides of CDV and MV could be easily distinguished by peptide mapping. Some similarities were found in the internal polypeptides P, NP, and M, but very little in the surface glycoproteins, H and F1.
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