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Virology. 1992 Oct;190(2):876-81.

The influence of N-linked glycosylation on the antigenicity and immunogenicity of rubella virus E1 glycoprotein.

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Department of Pathology, University of British Columbia, Research Centre, Vancouver, Canada.


Rubella virus E1 glycoprotein contains three functional N-linked glycosylation sites. The role of N-linked glycosylation on the antigenicity and immunogenicity of E1 glycoprotein was studied using vaccinia recombinants expressing E1 glycosylation mutants. Expressed E1 glycosylation mutant proteins were recognized by a panel of E1-specific monoclonal antibodies in radioimmunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence, and immunoblotting, indicating that carbohydrate side chains on E1 are not involved in the constitution of epitopes recognized by these monoclonal antibodies. This observation was further supported by the fact that removal of oligosaccharides on E1 by glycosidase digestion did not significantly change the antigenicity of E1. All the glycosylation mutants were capable of eliciting anti-RV E1 antibodies. The single glycosylation mutants (G1, G2, and G3), but not the double mutant (G23) or the triple mutant (G123), were found to be capable of inducing virus neutralizing antibodies. Among the single glycosylation mutants, only G2 and G3 were active in producing hemagglutination inhibition antibodies in mice. Our findings suggest that although carbohydrate on E1 is not directly involved in the antigenic structures of E1, it is important in maintaining proper protein folding and stable conformation for expression of immunological epitopes on E1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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