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Virus Res. 2013 Jun;174(1-2):137-47. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2013.03.012. Epub 2013 Apr 3.

Role of N-linked glycosylation of the human parainfluenza virus type 3 hemagglutinin-neuraminidase protein.

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Department of Virology, School of Public Health, Shandong University, Jinan 250012, China.


Human parainfluenza virus type 3 (hPIV-3) is a major respiratory tract pathogen that affects infants and young children. The hPIV-3 hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) protein is a multifunctional protein mediating hemadsorption (HAD), neuraminidase (NA), and fusion promotion activities, each of which affects the ability of HN to promote viral fusion and entry. The hPIV-3 HN protein contains four potential sites (N308, N351, N485 and N523) for N-linked glycosylation. Electrophoretic mobility analysis of mutated HN proteins indicated that N308, N351 and N523 sites, but not the N485 site in HN protein, were targeted for the addition of glycans in BHK-21 cells. These functional glycosylation sites were systematically eliminated in various combinations from HN to form a panel of mutants in which the roles of individual carbohydrate chains and groups of carbohydrate chains could be analyzed. Removal of individual or multiple N-glycans on the hPIV-3 HN protein had no effects on transport to the cell surface, expression and NA activity. Single glycosylation site mutants (G1, G2 and G4) not only impaired fusion promotion activity but also reduced HAD activity of HN protein, which was even more obvious for all three double mutants (G12, G14 and G24) and the triple mutant (G124). In addition, every mutant protein retained F-interactive capability that was equal to the wild-type protein capability. Interestingly, the F protein that could be co-immunoprecipitated with the G12 mutated protein or immunoprecipitated with anti-F antibody was not efficiently cleaved. For G14, G24 and G124, little cleaved F protein was detected in co-immuoprecipitation F protein assay and its total amounts where in the cell lysates. The mechanism underlying hPIV-3 HN and F protein remained associated before and after receptor engagement and the strength of the HN-receptor interaction modulated the activation of F the protein which could determine the extent of fusion. Finally, we demonstrated that single or multiple N-glycosylation site mutations inhibited fusion at the earliest stages. Taken together, these results indicated that N-glycosylation of hPIV-3 HN is critical to its receptor recognition activity, cleavage of the F protein, and fusion promotion activity, but had no influence on its interaction with the homologous F protein and NA activity.

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