Resistance of native, oligomeric envelope on simian immunodeficiency virus to digestion by glycosidases

R. E. Means, R. C. Desrosiers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Stocks of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) from the supernatants of infected cell cultures were used to examine the sensitivity of envelope glycoprotein gp120 to enzymatic deglycosylation and the effects of enzyme treatment on infectivity. Sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western blot analysis revealed little or no change in the mobility of virion-associated gp120 after digestion with high concentrations of N-glycosidase F, endoglycosidase F, endoglycosidase H, and endo-β-galactosidase. Soluble gp120, which was not pelletable after the enzymatic reaction, was sensitive to digestion by the same enzymes within the same reaction mix and was only slightly less sensitive than gp120 that had been completely denatured by boiling in the presence of SDS and β-mercaptoethanol. Digestion by three of the seven glycosidases tested significantly changed the infectivity titer compared to that of mock-treated virus. Digestion by endo-β-galactosidase increased infectivity titers by about 2.5-fold, and neuraminidase from Newcastle disease virus typically increased infectivity titers by 8-fold. Most or all of the increase in infectivity titer resulting from treatment with neuraminidase could be accounted for by effects on the virus, not the cells; SIV produced in the presence of the sialic acid analog 2,3-dehydro-2-deoxy-N-acetylneuraminic acid also exhibited increased infectivity, and the effects could not be duplicated by neuraminidase treatment of cells. Digestion with mannosidase reduced infectivity by fivefold. Our results indicate that carbohydrates on native oligomeric gp120 as it exists on the surface of virus particles are largely occluded and are refractory to digestion by glycosidases. Furthermore, the sialic acid residues at the ends of carbohydrate side chains significantly reduce the inherent infectivity of SIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11181-11190
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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