Heterogeneity in glycan composition on the surface of HIV-1 envelope determines virus sensitivity to lectins

Muzafar Jan, Chitra Upadhyay, José Alcami Pertejo, Catarina E. Hioe, Sunil K. Arora

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Lectins that target N-glycans on the surface of HIV-1 envelope (Env) glycoprotein have the potential for use as antiviral agents. Although progress has been made in deciphering the molecular details of lectin and Env glycan interaction, further studies are needed to better understand Env glycan heterogeneity among HIV-1 isolates and its influence on virus-neutralization sensitivity to lectins. This study evaluated a panel of lectins with fine specificity for distinct oligosaccharides and assessed their ability to inhibit infection of HIV-1 viruses known to have differing sensitivity to anti-HIV Env antibodies. The results showed that HIV- 1 isolates have different sensitivity to lectins specific for α1-3Man, α1-6Man, and α1-2Man binding lectins. Considering that lectins exclusively recognize the oligosaccharide components of virus Env, these data suggest that glycan heterogeneity among HIV-1 isolates may explain this differential sensitivity. To evaluate this further, chronic and acute viruses were produced in the presence of different glycosidase inhibitors to express more homogenous glycans. Viruses enriched for α1-2Man terminating Man5-9GlcNAc2 glycans became similarly sensitive to α1-2Man-binding lectins. The α1-3Man- and α1-6Man-binding lectins also were more potent against viruses expressing predominantly Man5GlcNAc2 and hybrid type glycans with terminal α1-3Man and α1-6Man. Furthermore, lectin-mediated inhibition was competitively alleviated by mannan and this effect was augmented by enrichment of mannose- type glycans on the virus. In addition, while Env of viruses enriched with mannosetype glycans were sensitive to Endo-H deglycosylation, Env of untreated viruses were partially resistant, indicating that HIV-1 Env glycans are heterogeneously comprised of complex, hybrid, and mannose types. Overall, our data demonstrate that HIV-1 isolates display differential sensitivity to lectins, in part due to the microheterogeneity of N-linked glycans expressed on the surface of the virus Env glycoprotein.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0194498
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


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