The envelope protein of the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) was analyzed using several epitope prediction programs based on profiles of hydrophilicity, antigenicity, and probability of residues to lie on the protein surface. Tentative homologies with the immunodominant epitope sites in simian virus (SIV) or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) such as the V3 loop, the site of cleavage between surface envelope protein (SU) and transmembrane envelope protein (TM), and sites of N-glycosylation were thus identified. Five peptides corresponding to potential epitopes were synthesized. Four out of five peptides (P99, P100, P101, P103) were from the FIV surface envelope protein (SU). The last one (P102) was from the FIV transmembrane envelope protein TM. Three of these peptides (P99, P100, and P102) were recognized in ELISA by almost all the sera from infected cats. The peptide from TM (102) was recognized by sera from both naturally infected and inoculated cats, whereas peptides P99 and P100 (from SU) were recognized mainly by sera from naturally infected cats. On the basis of these results we propose that peptides P99, and P100 from SU and P102 from TM constitute epitopes on the FIV env protein.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology