Alterations in two highly conserved N-linked glycosylation sites within the gp120 envelope glycoprotein of human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1) implicated in the phenotype of a noncytopathic HIV-1 variant were introduced independently and in combination into a cytopathic, infectious HIV-1 clone by site-specific mutagenesis. Neither mutation affected the synthesis of HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins. However, one of the mutations restricted the ability of HIV-1 envelope to localize on the cell membrane and thus markedly impaired virus assembly. The HIV-1 assembly defect could be overcome in trans if site-specific mutants were packaged in HeLa cells constitutively producing wild-type HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein. In addition to inefficient virus assembly, this mutation impaired the ability of the virus to infect CD4+ T cells, but did not affect CD4-independent infection of muscle cells. These results suggest additional functions of posttranslational modification in virus replication (i.e., envelope glycoprotein transport). Given that such modifications can restrict CD4-mediated uptake without affecting CD4-independent uptake, variations in posttranslational env processing between different HIV-1 genotypes may affect virus tropism in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases