Detection of Antibody to M Protein of Measles Virus in Patients with Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis

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    • OHARA Yoshiro
    • Division of Clinical Neurology, Institute of Brain Diseases, Tohoku University School of Medicine
    • TASHIRO Masato
    • Department of Bacteriology, Yamagata University School of Medicine
    • TAKASE Sadao
    • Division of Clinical Neurology, Institute of Brain Diseases, Tohoku University School of Medicine
    • HOMMA Morio
    • Department of Microbiology, Kobe University School of Medicine


Consistent results have not been obtained yet on the presence of antibody to the M protein of measles virus in the sera of patients with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). We performed a comparative study on various immunoprecipitation systems which appeared in the literature and found that the difference in the composition of the solubilizing buffer produced a large variety of results on the immunoprecipitation. [<sup>35</sup>S]Methionine-labeled Vero cells infected with the Edmonston strain of measles virus were solubilized by 10 different buffers and reacted with hyperimmune rabbit serum to whole virus, monospecific antisera to H, NP, and M proteins of the virus, normal adults' sera, and the sera from 16 SSPE patients. The immune complex was absorbed by protein A and both solubilization and precipitation rates were compared with each viral protein. Although viral proteins were solubilized by all buffers, the solubilization rate varied considerably. M protein was solubilized and was not coprecipitated nonspecifically with any of the other viral proteins. Purified protein A conjugated to Sepharose was preferable to <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> for absorption of the immune complex since the latter absorbed both viral and host proteins nonspecifically. The precipitation rates of the viral proteins also varied according to the buffers. Better solubilization of the viral proteins seemed to reduce their rate of precipitation for which the presence of SDS may be responsible, and the presence of the protease inhibitors may also affect the results of immunoprecipitation. Detection of M protein in the immunoprecipitates was largely influenced by the kind of buffer used: some buffers could detect it clearly, but others could not defect it at all. Among the solubilizing buffers tested, Saleh's buffer (Virology <b>93</b>: 369-376 (1979)), which contains 0.5% DOC and 0.50% Triton X-100, was most reliable for detection of the anti-M antibody in the rabbit serum, because it showed a high solubilization and high precipitation rates of viral proteins without nonspecific absorption by protein A or coprecipitation of M proteins with any of the other proteins. Using this buffer, we could definitely detect M proteins in the immunoprecipitates from the sera of all six healthy adults and 15 out of 16 patients with SSPE. It was found, however, that the amount of M proteins in SSPE patients was lower than that in healthy adults and varied considerably.


  • Japanese Journal of Microbiology

    Japanese Journal of Microbiology 29(8), 709-723, 1985

    Center For Academic Publications Japan


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