The relatedness of antigenic determinants of purified major core proteins of the murine, feline, RD 114/baboon, and woolly monkey/gibbon ape groups of RNA tumor viruses was examined by competition radioimmunoassay. In assay systems of a homologous antigen and antiserum, high affinity competition for binding to all of the antibodies was observed only with the homologous unlabeled protein; the core proteins of other groups of viruses showed only low affinity binding of a small fraction of antibodies, presumably those reactive with the interspecies determinants, at concentrations of competing protein 10 to 100 fold greater than that of the labeled antigen. The cross reactive (interspecies) antigens of every two viruses were selectively examined by precipitating the purified 125I labeled protein with antiserum against each of the other proteins. The extent to which these shared determinants were common to the other viruses was then tested by the effectiveness of the proteins of each virus to compete for antibody binding. Several classes of interspecies determinants were distinguished: those common to two of the groups viruses, others to three, and some to all four. Moreover, an even greater variety of interspecies determinants was indicated by differences in the affinity of the individual proteins for antibody binding, supporting the hypothesis that there are at least several, if not many, different interspecies determinants with a broad spectrum of antigenic cross reactivity. These studies suggest that the murine and feline viruses are closely related as they contain cross reactive antigenic determinants not shared with the other viruses, that the feline virus is more closely related to the woolly monkey virus than to RD 114, and that the RD 114 and woolly monkey viruses retain interspecies determinants shared relatively equally with each of the other viruses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science