Author(s): Fenouillet E, Gluckman JC, Bahraoui E, Fenouillet E, Gluckman JC, Bahraoui E
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Abstract We have shown that enzymatic removal of N-linked glycans from human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) recombinant envelope glycoproteins gp160 and gp120 produced in BHK-21 cells did not significantly reduce their ability to bind to CD4, the cellular receptor for the virus. Because recombinant proteins may behave differently from proteins present on virions, we investigated whether such viral envelope glycoproteins either in a purified form or present on viral particles could be deglycosylated by treatment with an endoglycosidase F-N-glycanase mixture which cleaves all accessible glycan moieties. Endoglycosidase analysis of the carbohydrate composition of purified viral gp120 (vgp120) indicated a glycosylation pattern similar to that for recombinant gp120 (rgp120), and treatment with endoglycosidase F-N-glycanase resulted in comparable molecular weight (MW) reduction for both molecules. Similarly, after immunoblotting of the deglycosylated viral preparation, the characteristic 160- and 120-kilodalton (kDa) bands were replaced by 90- and 60-kDa bands, respectively. The apparent MW of gp41 shifted to 35 kDa. These results are consistent with complete deglycosylation. The immunoreactive conformation of envelope glycoproteins remained unaltered after deglycosylation: they were recognized to the same extent by specific human polyclonal or mouse monoclonal antibodies, and no proteolysis of viral proteins occurred during enzymatic treatment. Deglycosylation of vgp120 resulted in a less than 10-fold reduction of the ability to bind to CD4, presented either in a soluble form or at the cell membrane. In addition, deglycosylation significantly reduced, but did not abolish, HIV-1 binding to and infectivity of CD4+ cells as determined, respectively, by an indirect immunofluorescence assay and a quantitative dose-response infection assay. Taken together, these results indicate that removal of glycans present on mature envelope glycoproteins of HIV-1 diminishes but does not abolish either virus binding to CD4 or its capacity to infect CD4+ cells.
This article was published in J Virol
and referenced in HIV: Current Research