Mutation of conserved N-glycosylation sites around the CD4-binding site of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 GP120 affects viral infectivity

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • L Dirckx - , F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG (Author)
  • D Lindemann - , F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG (Author)
  • R Ette - (Author)
  • C Manzoni - (Author)
  • D Moritz - (Author)
  • J Mous - (Author)


Infection by the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is initiated through interaction of its exterior envelope glycoprotein gp120 with the CD4 receptor on target cells. To address the possible role of N-glycosylation of HIV-1 gp120 in binding CD4, we mutated different conserved N-glycosylation site Asn-residues in the vicinity of the putative CD4 binding site, as single mutations or in combinations. Authentic and mutant gp120 proteins were produced using the baculovirus expression system. All mutant proteins were produced and secreted at similar levels and could be immunoprecipitated with an HIV(+)-serum. Furthermore, all glycosylation mutants retained the full capacity to bind CD4 except for a triple mutant which showed reduced binding. Different gp120 mutant genes were then introduced in an infectious proviral DNA clone. Upon transfection of MT-2 cells, the authentic HIV-1 clone induced maximal virus production after 6 days. In the case of the triple glycosylation mutant, comparable virus production was first reached after a delay of about 12 days. Moreover, in contrast to native HIV, the mutant virus induced no typical multinucleated giant cells. These results suggest that the attached carbohydrates around the CD4-binding site of gp120, may contribute to the generation of this protein domain required for high affinity receptor interaction.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-20
Number of pages12
JournalVirus research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes

External IDs

Scopus 0025612196
ORCID /0000-0002-0320-4223/work/150885090


Sustainable Development Goals


  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/genetics, Baculoviridae/genetics, Base Sequence, Binding Sites, CD4 Antigens/immunology, Cells, Cultured, Giant Cells/microbiology, Glycosylation, HIV Envelope Protein gp120/chemistry, HIV-1/genetics, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutagenesis, Solubility, Transfection, Virus Replication