The bovine leukaemia virus (BLV) is a retrovirus responsible for enzootic bovine leukaemia (EBL) disease, the most common cattle disease leading to high annual economic losses to the cattle breeding industry. Virus monitoring among the sheep and cattle herds is usually done by vaccination. Inactivated virus vaccines can partially protect the livestock from viral challenge. However, vaccinated animals are likely to be infected. So, there is an essential need for producing vaccine by other methods. Gp60 SU, encoded by Env gene, is the surface glycoprotein of BLV detected to be the major target for the host immunity against the virus. Different stages were performed to predict the potential B and T-helper cell epitopes. The general framework of the method includes retrieving the amino acid sequence of gp60 SU, conducting the sequence alignment, getting the entropy plot, retrieving the previously found epitopes, predicting the hydropathy parameters, modelling the tertiary structure of the glycoprotein, minimizing the structure energy, validating the model by Ramachandran plot, predicting the linear and discontinuous epitopes by various servers and eventually choosing the consensus immunogenic regions. Ramachandran plot scrutiny has demonstrated that the modelled prediction is accurate and suitable. By surveying overlaps of various results, 4 and 2 immunogenic regions were selected as linear and conformational epitopes respectively. Amino acids 35-53, 67-97, 288-302 and 410-421 and those of numbers 37-58 and 72-100 were the regions selected as linear and conformational epitopes respectively. The tertiary structure of the final epitope was modelled as well. A comparison of the predicted epitopes structure with that of gp60 SU envelope, illustrated that the tertiary structure of these epitopes does not change after being separated from the primary complete one. The present achievements will lead to a better interpretation of the antigen-antibody interactions against gp60 in the designing process of safe and efficient vaccines.
© 2020 The Authors. Veterinary Medicine and Science Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.