The regulation of mammary prolactin receptor metabolism by a retroviral envelope protein.
All the structural proteins (gp47, gp34, p27, p23, p16, and p12) of the murine mammary tumor virus (MuMTV) were simultaneously purified utilizing alkylagarose chromatography as the initial fractionation step. Least-hydrophobic MuMTV polypeptides (p23, p16) and the slightly hydrophobic p27 were separated from moderately hydrophobic proteins gp47 and p12 by passage through octylimino (C(8))-agarose; the gp47 and p12 could be removed from the matrix by elution with ethylene glycol, whereas the most hydrophobic MuMTV protein, gp34, was eluted using nonionic detergent together with ethylene glycol. Subsequent purification steps involved ion-exchange or gel filtration chromatography. The resulting protein preparations appeared near-homogeneous on analysis by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate. Recoveries of MuMTV proteins, based on their approximate individual contribution to total virus protein, ranged from about 20% for gp47 to greater than 100% for the minor structural component p23, the major phosphoprotein of MuMTV. Antiserum against purified C3H MuMTV gp34, together with purified, radioiodinated gp34, was used to develop a radioimmunoassay which showed that from 13 to 14% of total MuMTV protein by weight is gp34. Using this assay system, the group-specific antigenic reactivity of gp34 was also demonstrated. When solubilized preparations of C3H, RIII, and GR MuMTV's were used as competing antigens in gp34 radioimmunoassays with anti-C3H MuMTV serum, both group- and type-specific differences in antigenic reactivity were found.