The major phosphoprotein (p23) of murine mammary tumor virus (MuMTV) was purified for C3H virus, using a combination of alkyl agarose chromatography and gel filtration. Monospecific antiserum was raised against glutaraldehyde crosslinked polymers of purified p23, and the antiserum was then used with iodinated p23 to develop a competition radioimmunoassay. Phosphoprotein p23 was shown to contain both group- and type-specific antigenic determinants in assays using detergent-disrupted virions of MuMTV strains C3H, RIII, GR, and DBA/2 as competing antigens. Tryptic and chymotryptic peptide mapping analysis of p23 polypeptides isolated from MuMTV strains C3H, RIII, GR and DBA/2 showed that the p23s of each virus strain could be clearly distinguished from each other.
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