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J Cell Biol. 1997 Nov 3;139(3):613-23.

The number and location of glycans on influenza hemagglutinin determine folding and association with calnexin and calreticulin.

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Department of Cell Biology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8002, USA.


Calnexin and calreticulin are homologous molecular chaperones that promote proper folding, oligomeric assembly, and quality control of newly synthesized glycoproteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Both are lectins that bind to substrate glycoproteins that have monoglucosylated N-linked oligosaccharides. Their binding to newly translated influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA), and various mutants thereof, was analyzed in microsomes after in vitro translation and expression in live CHO cells. A large fraction of the HA molecules was found to occur in ternary HA- calnexin-calreticulin complexes. In contrast to calnexin, calreticulin was found to bind primarily to early folding intermediates. Analysis of HA mutants with different numbers and locations of N-linked glycans showed that although the two chaperones share the same carbohydrate specificity, they display distinct binding properties; calreticulin binding depends on the oligosaccharides in the more rapidly folding top/hinge domain of HA whereas calnexin is less discriminating. Calnexin's binding was reduced if the HA was expressed as a soluble anchor-free protein rather than membrane bound. When the co- and posttranslational folding and trimerization of glycosylation mutants was analyzed, it was observed that removal of stem domain glycans caused accelerated folding whereas removal of the top domain glycans (especially the oligosaccharide attached to Asn81) inhibited folding. In summary, the data established that individual N-linked glycans in HA have distinct roles in calnexin/calreticulin binding and in co- and posttranslational folding.

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