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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2001 May;297(2):704-10.

Selective interactions of the human immunodeficiency virus-inactivating protein cyanovirin-N with high-mannose oligosaccharides on gp120 and other glycoproteins.

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Laboratory of Drug Discovery Research and Development, NCI Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, Maryland 21702, USA.


The virucidal protein cyanovirin-N (CV-N) mediates its highly potent anti-human immunodeficiency virus activity, at least in part, through interactions with the viral envelope glycoprotein gp120. Here we dissect in further detail the mechanism of CV-N's glycosylation-dependent binding to gp120. Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) binding studies of CV-N with endoglycosidase H-treated gp120 showed that binding was completely abrogated by removal of high-mannose oligosaccharides from the glycoprotein. Additional ITC and circular dichroism spectral studies with CV-N and other glycoproteins as well showed that CV-N discriminately bound only glycoproteins that contain high-mannose oligosaccharides. Binding experiments with RNase B indicated that the single high-mannose oligosaccharide on that enzyme mediated all of its binding with CV-N (K(d) = 0.602 microM). A finer level of oligosaccharide selectivity of CV-N was revealed in affinity chromatography-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry experiments, which showed that CV-N preferentially bound only oligomannose-8 (Man-8) and oligomannose-9 isoforms of RNase B. Finally, we biophysically characterized the interaction of CV-N with a purified, single oligosaccharide, Man-8. The binding affinity of Man-8 for CV-N is unusually strong (K(d) = 0.488 microM), several hundredfold greater than observed for oligosaccharides and their protein lectins (K(d) = 1 microM--1 mM), further establishing a critical role of high-mannose oligosaccharides in CV-N binding to glycoproteins.

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