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Involvement of viral glycoprotein gC-1 in expression of the selectin ligand sialyl-Lewis X induced after infection with herpes simplex virus type 1.

Journal article
Authors Rickard Nordén
Kristina Nyström
Beata Adamiak
Adnan Halim
Jonas Nilsson
Göran Larson
Edward Trybala
Sigvard Olofsson
Published in APMIS : acta pathologica, microbiologica, et immunologica Scandinavica
Volume 121
Issue 4
Pages 280-289
ISSN 1600-0463
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Clinical Chemistry and Transfusion Medicine
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 280-289
Language en
Keywords virus, O-linked glycans, N-linked glycans, herpesviruses, selectin
Subject categories Basic Medicine


Several herpesviruses induce expression of the selectin receptor sialyl-Lewis X (sLe(x) ) by activating transcription of one or more of silent host FUT genes, each one encoding a fucosyltransferase that catalyses the rate-limiting step of sLe(x) synthesis. The aim here was to identify the identity of the glycoconjugate associated with sLe(x) glycoepitope in herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infected human diploid fibroblasts, using immunofluorescence confocal microscopy. Cells infected with all tested HSV-1 strains analysed demonstrated bright sLe(x) fluorescence, except for two mutant viruses that were unable to induce proper expression of viral glycoprotein gC-1: One gC-1 null mutant and another mutant expressing gC-1 devoid of its major O-glycan-containing region (aa 33-116). The sLe(x) reactivity of HSV-1 infected cells was abolished by mild alkali treatment. Altogether the results indicated that the detectable sLe(x) was associated with O-linked glycans, situated in the mucin region of gC-1. No evidence for sLe(x) (i) in other HSV-1 glycoproteins with mucin domains such as gI-1 or (ii) in host cell glycoproteins/glycolipids was found. Thus, the mucin domain of HSV-1 gC-1 may support expression of selectin ligands such as sLe(x) and other larger O-linked glycans in cell types lacking endogenous mucin domain-containing glycoproteins, optimized for O-glycan expression, provided that the adequate host glycosyltransferase genes are activated.

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