Approximately 50% of the mass of the Envelope (Env) glycoprotein surface subunit (gp120) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is composed of N-linked carbohydrate. Until now, the dogma has been that HIV-1 lacks O-linked carbohydrate on Env. Here we show that a subset of patient-derived HIV-1 isolates contain O-linked carbohydrate on the variable 1 (V1) domain of Env gp120. We demonstrate the presence of this O-glycosylation both on virions and on gp120 expressed as a secreted protein. Further, we establish that these O-linked glycans can confer a more than 1,000-fold decrease in neutralization sensitivity (IC50) to V3-glycan broadly neutralizing antibodies. These findings uncover a structural modification to the HIV-1 Env and suggest a functional role in promoting viral escape from one category of broadly neutralizing antibodies.
- V1 domain
- broadly neutralizing antibodies
- escape mechanism
- immune evasion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)