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Virol J. 2006 May 31;3:41.

The role of single N-glycans in proteolytic processing and cell surface transport of the Lassa virus glycoprotein GP-C.

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Institut für Virologie der Philipps-Universität Marburg, Hans-Meerwein-Str, 3, 35037 Marburg, Germany.


Lassa virus glycoprotein is synthesised as a precursor (preGP-C) into the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum. After cotranslational cleavage of the signal peptide, the immature GP-C is posttranslationally processed into the N-terminal subunit GP-1 and the C-terminal subunit GP-2 by the host cell subtilase SKI-1/S1P. The glycoprotein precursor contains eleven potential N-glycosylation sites. In this report, we investigated the effect of each N-glycan on proteolytic cleavage and cell surface transport by disrupting the consensus sequences of eleven potential N-glycan attachment sites individually. Five glycoprotein mutants with disrupted N-glycosylation sites were still proteolytically processed, whereas the remaining N-glycosylation sites are necessary for GP-C cleavage. Despite the lack of proteolytic processing, all cleavage-defective mutants were transported to the cell surface and remained completely endo H-sensitive. The findings indicate that N-glycans are needed for correct conformation of GP-C in order to be cleaved by SKI-1/S1P.

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