Amino-terminal deletion mutants of the Rous sarcoma virus glycoprotein do not block signal peptide cleavage but can block intracellular transport

J. M. Hardwick, K. E.S. Shaw, J. W. Wills, E. Hunter

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12 Scopus citations


Protein sequence requirements for cleavage of the signal peptide from the Rous sarcoma virus glycoprotein have been investigated through the use of deletion mutagenesis. The phenotypes of these mutants have been characterized by expression of the cloned, mutated env genes in CV-1 cells using a late replacement SV40 vector. The deletion mutations were generated by Ba131 digestion at the XhoI site located near the 5' end of the coding sequence for the structural protein gp85, which is found at the amino terminus of the precursor glycoprotein, Pr95. The results of experiments with three mutants (X1, X2, and X3) are presented. Mutant X1 has a 14 amino acid deletion encompassing amino acids 4-17 of gp85, which results in the loss of one potential glycosylation site. In mutants X2 and X3 the amino terminal nine and six amino acids, respectively, of gp85 are deleted. During the biosynthesis of all three mutant polypeptides, the signal peptide is efficiently and accurately cleaved from the nascent protein, even though in mutants X2 and X3 the cleavage site itself has been altered. In these mutants the alanine/aspartic acid cleavage site has been mutated to alanine/asparagine and alanine/glutamine, respectively. These results are consistent with the concept that sequences C-terminal to the signal peptidase site are unimportant in defining the site of cleavage in eucaryotes. Mutants X2 and X3 behave like wild-type with respect to protein glycosylation, palmitic acid addition, cleavage to gp85 and gp37, and expression on the cell surface. Mutant X1, on the other hand, is defective in intracellular transport. Although it is translocated across the rough endoplasmic reticulum and core-glycosylated, its transport appears to be blocked at an early Golgi compartment. No terminal glycosylation of the protein, cleavage of the precursor protein to the mature products, or expression on the cell surface is observed. The deletion in X1 thus appears to destroy signals required for export to the cell surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)829-838
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology


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