Analysis of linear B-cell epitopes of the nucleoprotein of Ebola virus that distinguish Ebola virus subtypes

Masahiro Niikura, Tetsuro Ikegami, Masayuki Saijo, Takeshi Kurata, Ichiro Kurane, Shigeru Morikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Ebola virus consists of four genetically distinguishable subtypes. We developed monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to the nucleoprotein (NP) of Ebola virus Zaire subtype and analyzed their cross-reactivities to the Reston and Sudan subtypes. We further determined the epitopes recognized by these MAbs. Three MAbs reacted with the three major subtypes and recognized a fragment containing 110 amino acids (aa) at the C-terminal extremity. They did not show specific reactivities to any 10-aa short peptides in Pepscan analyses, suggesting that these MAbs recognize conformational epitope(s) located within this region. Six MAbs recognized a fragment corresponding to aa 361 to 461 of the NP. Five of these six MAbs showed specific reactivities in Pepscan analyses, and the epitopes were identified in two regions, aa 424 to 430 and aa 451 to 455. Three MAbs that recognized the former epitope region cross-reacted with all three subtypes, and one that recognized the same epitope region was Zaire specific. One MAb, which recognized the latter epitope region, was reactive with Zaire and Sudan subtypes but not with the Reston subtype. These results suggest that Ebola virus NP has at least two linear epitope regions and that the recognition of the epitope by MAbs can vary even within the same epitope region. These MAbs showing different subtype specificities might be useful reagents for developing an immunological system to identify Ebola virus subtypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (medical)


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