Glycoprotein gIII of pseudorabies virus is multifunctional.

C. Schreurs, T. C. Mettenleiter, F. Zuckermann, N. Sugg, T. Ben-Porat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the major glycoproteins of pseudorabies virus, gIII, is nonessential for growth in cell culture. Mutants defective in gIII, however, consistently yield lower titers of infectious virus (3- to 20-fold) than does wild-type virus. The interactions of gIII- mutants with their host cells were compared with those of wild-type virus in an attempt to uncover the functions of gIII. We show that gIII plays a major role in the stable adsorption of the virus to its host cell; in the absence of gIII, the rate of adsorption is reduced and adsorption is easily reversed by washing. Thus, adsorption of pseudorabies virus can be said to occur in at least the following two ways: (i) a gIII-mediated rapid adsorption or (ii) a slower and more labile adsorption that is independent of gIII. After virions have been complexed with monoclonal antibodies against gIII (but not some monoclonal antibodies against other glycoproteins), both modes of adsorption were inhibited. Glycoprotein gIII affects virus stability and virus release, as well as adsorption. The effect on virus release is marked when the virus is defective in additional functions. Thus, although we found no obvious difference in the release of virus from gIII- or wild-type virus-infected rabbit kidney cells, release of a gIII-/gI- double mutant from the cells occurred less readily than did release of a gI- mutant. The gIII-/gI- and gIII- mutants, however, adsorbed to cells at a similar rate, indicating that the effects of gIII on adsorption and virus release constitute separate functions. The Bartha vaccine strain of pseudorabies virus has a defective gIII gene and is released poorly from rabbit kidney cells. After the resident Bartha gIII gene was replaced by the gIII gene of wild-type virus, virus release was enhanced considerably. Since inactivation of gIII in wild-type pseudorabies virus did not significantly affect virus release, the Bartha strain must be defective in another function which, in conjunction with gIII, significantly affects virus release. These results indicate again that gIII affects virus release in conjunction with other functions. Also, although the Bartha strain was functionally defective in virus release, it adsorbed to cells as well as wild-type virus did, showing that the effects of gIII on virus adsorption and release constitute separate functions. We conclude that gIII is a multifunctional glycoprotein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2251-2257
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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