The roles played by the N-linked glycans of the Friend murine leukemia virus envelope proteins were investigated by site-specific mutagenesis. The surface protein gp70 has eight potential attachment sites for N-linked glycan; each signal asparagine was converted to aspartate, and mutant viruses were tested for the ability to grow in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts. Seven of the mutations did not affect virus infectivity, whereas mutation of the fourth glycosylation signal from the amino terminus (gs4) resulted in a noninfectious phenotype. Characterization of mutant gene products by radioimmunoprecipitation confirmed that glycosylation occurs at all eight consensus signals in gp70 and that gs2 carries an endoglycosidase H-sensitive glycan. Elimination of gs2 did not cause retention of an endoglycosidase H-sensitive glycan at a different site, demonstrating that this structure does not play an essential role in envelope protein function. The gs3- mutation affected a second posttranslational modification of unknown type, which was manifested as production of gp70 that remained smaller than wild-type gp70 after removal of all N-linked glycans by peptide N-glycosidase F. The gs4- mutation decreased processing of gPr80 to gPr90, completely inhibited proteolytic processing of gPr90 to gp70 and Pr15(E), and prevented incorporation of envelope products into virus particles. Brefeldin A-induced mixing of the endoplasmic reticulum and parts of the Golgi apparatus allowed proteolytic processing of wild-type gPr90 to occur in the absence of protein transport, but it did not overcome the cleavage defect of the gs4- precursor, indicating that gs4- gPr90 is resistant to the processing protease. The work reported here demonstrates that the gs4 region is important for env precursor processing and suggests that gs4 may be a critical target in the disruption of murine leukemia virus env product processing by inhibitors of N-linked glycosylation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science