Mutations within the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 gp160 envelope glycoprotein alter its intracellular transport and processing

Virology. 1991 Sep;184(1):319-29. doi: 10.1016/0042-6822(91)90848-6.


Intracellular transport and processing of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope precursor polyprotein, gp160, proceeds via the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi complex. We examined gp160 processing during the production of HIV-1 virions in transfected HeLa cells using wild-type and env mutant proviral molecular clones. Results from pulse-chase analyses indicated that a single amino acid substitution within a highly conserved domain of the env gene impaired gp160 export from the ER, leading to an increase in oligomeric forms of gp160 and a decrease in gp120 production. In contrast, gp160 which contained a mutated cleavage site was able to traverse the ER/Golgi complex, even in the absence of proteolytic processing, and become incorporated into budding virions. These findings indicate that export from the ER is a point in the intracellular trafficking of gp160 that is crucial to the production of the mature envelope components.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Gene Products, env / biosynthesis
  • Gene Products, env / genetics*
  • Gene Products, env / isolation & purification
  • Glycoside Hydrolases
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp160
  • HIV-1 / genetics*
  • HeLa Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Weight
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed*
  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • Protein Precursors / biosynthesis
  • Protein Precursors / genetics*
  • Protein Precursors / isolation & purification
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Transfection
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Virion / genetics


  • Gene Products, env
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp160
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • Protein Precursors
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • Glycoside Hydrolases