Removal of N-linked glycosylation sites in the V1 region of simian immunodeficiency virus gp120 results in redirection of B-cell responses to V3

J Virol. 2004 Feb;78(3):1525-39. doi: 10.1128/jvi.78.3.1525-1539.2004.


One mechanism of immune evasion utilized by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) envelope glycoproteins is the presence of a dense carbohydrate shield. Accumulating evidence from in vitro and in vivo experiments suggests that alterations in N-linked glycosylation of SIV gp120 can enhance host humoral immune responses that may be involved in immune control. The present study was designed to determine the ability of glycosylation mutant viruses to redirect antibody responses to shielded envelope epitopes. The influence of glycosylation on the maturation and specificity of antibody responses elicited by glycosylation mutant viruses containing mutations of specific N-linked sites in and near the V1 and V2 regions of SIVmac239 gp120 was determined. Results from these studies demonstrated a remarkably similar maturation of antibody responses to native, fully glycosylated envelope proteins. However, analyses of antibodies to defined envelope domains revealed that mutation of glycosylation sites in V1 resulted in increased antibody recognition to epitopes in V1. In addition, we demonstrated for the first time that mutation of glycosylation sites in V1 resulted in a redirection of antibody responses to the V3 loop. Taken together, these results demonstrate that N-linked glycosylation is a determinant of SIV envelope B-cell immunogenicity in addition to in vitro antigenicity. In addition, our results demonstrate that the absence of N-linked carbohydrates at specific sites can influence the exposure of epitopes quite distant in the linear sequence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Antibody Affinity
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Glycosylation
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / genetics
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / immunology*
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / chemistry*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / immunology
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Simian Immunodeficiency Virus / immunology*
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / chemistry*
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / immunology
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / metabolism


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120
  • HIV envelope protein gp120 (305-321)
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • gp120 protein, Simian immunodeficiency virus