Complex-type N-linked oligosaccharides of gp120 from human immunodeficiency virus type 1 contain sulfated N-acetylglucosamine

Ali Shilatifard, Roberta K. Merkle, Dag E. Helland, Jacqueline L. Welles, William A. Haseltine, Richard D. Cummings

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45 Scopus citations


The major envelope glycoproteins gp120 and gp41 of human immunodeficiency virus type 1, the causative agent for human AIDS, contain numerous N-linked oligosaccharides. We report here our discovery that N-acetylglucosamine residues within the complex-type N-linked oligosaccharides of both gp120 and its precursor, gp160, are sulfated. When human Molt-3 cells persistently infected with human T-cell leukemia virus III(B) were metabolically radiolabeled with 35SO4, gp160, gp120, and to some extent gp41 were radiolabeled. The 35SO4-labeled oligosaccharides were quantitatively released by N-glycanase treatment and were bound by immobilized Ricinus communis agglutinin I, a lectin that binds to terminal β-galactosyl residues. The kinetics of release of sulfate upon acid hydrolysis from 35SO4-labeled gp120 indicate that sulfation occurs in a primary sulfate ester linkage. Methylation analysis of total glycopeptides from Molt-3 cells metabolically radiolabeled with [3H]glucosamine demonstrates that sulfation occurs at the C-6 position of N-acetylglucosamine. Fragmentation of the gp120-derived 35SO4-labeled glycopeptides by treatment with hydrazine and nitrous acid and subsequent reduction generated galactosyl-anhydromannitol- 6-35SO4, which is the expected reaction product from GlcNAc-6-sulfate within a sulfated lactosamine moiety. Charge analysis of the [3H]galactose- and [3H]glucosamine-labeled glycopeptides from gp120 and gp160 indicates that approximately 14% of the complex-type N-linked oligosaccharides are sulfated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)943-952
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Virology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology


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