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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1981 May 29;668(3):439-47.

Physical and chemical properties of the major envelope glycoprotein gp85 from avian myeloblastosis virus.


The major envelope glycoprotein gp85 of avian myeloblastosis virus, observed by electron microscopy as nearly spherical knobs projecting from the virus surface, was purified to homogeneity by gel filtration in 6 M guanidinium chloride followed by ion-exchange chromatography. The purified glycoprotein has a molecular weight of 80 000 from sedimentation equilibrium analysis. Glycoprotein gp85 contains approx. 45% carbohydrate including 25% N-acetylglucosamine, while the remaining weight consists of a polypeptide chain of approx. 45 000 daltons. Based on the oligosaccharide chain molecular weight data of Lai and Duesberg (Lai, M.M.C. and Duesberg, P.H. (1972) Virology 50, 359-372), the carbohydrate is calculated to be distributed between seven to nine oligosaccharide side chains. No self-association of gp85 was observed up to 2.0 mg/ml in dilute salt solution. The hydrodynamic properties of gp85 in dilute salt solution indicate a highly elongated molecule with an axial ratio of 7. One structural model which reconciles the hydrodynamic properties of gp85 with the nearly spherical architecture observed by electron microscopy requires the organization of the polypeptide chain and approx. 50% of the carbohydrate into a globular form. The remaining covalently linked oligosaccharides would by necessity extend outwardly from the globular structure as randomly oriented chains.

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