Abstract

The envelope (env) and structural (gag) gene products of human T-cell leukemia (lymphotropic) virus type III were identified by immunoaffinity chromatography, immunoprecipitation, and two-dimensional oligopeptide mapping methods. The env gene specifies a glycosylated polypeptide with a molecular weight of 160,000 (gp160) that is processed to gp120 and smaller gene products. The gag gene specifies two polypeptides of 70,000 and 55,000 molecular weight (p70 and p55), both of which contain p24, the major structural protein of the mature virion. The techniques in this study can be used to define the extent of variability of the env gene product among different virus isolates and may identify the nature and patterns of the humoral immune response that lead to an immunologically protected state.