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Title: Antigenic and immunomodulatory properties of HIV-1 gp120 N-linked glycosylation
Author: Bonomelli, Camille
ISNI:       0000 0004 2746 7356
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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The HIV-1 surface glycoprotein, gp120, is made of a rapidly mutating protein core and an extensive carbohydrate shield which are, respectively, encoded by the viral genome and synthesised by the host cell. In contrast to host cell glycoproteins however, gp120 contains a population of unprocessed oligomannose-type glycans that interact with host lectins, promote HIV infection, and alter cell signalling. They also form the basis of the epitopes of several broadly neutralising antibodies isolated against HIV, making them a key feature for immunogen design. The mechanistic basis of how HIV glycans are differentially processed by the host cell was demonstrated on a recombinant gp120 model, suggesting that steric occlusion within the patch of densely packed glycans lead to lack of processing by ER and Golgi α-mannosidases. Furthermore, an elevated level of oligomannose-type glycans was evidenced on gp120 isolated from HIV-1JRCSF virions produced in PBMCs, compared to recombinant material (respectively ~79% and ~29% of total N-linked glycans), along with a subset of highly processed and sialylated, bi-, tri- and tetra-antennary complex-type glycans, which could be involved in direct interaction with key host cell immune receptors and strongly suppress both antibody and T-cell immune responses. The effect of variation in viral production systems was analysed, with envelope glycoprotein derived from pseudoviral particles produced in HEK 293T cells exhibiting predominantly an oligomannose population (98%), compared to gp120 isolated from a single-plasmid infectious molecular clone (56%). Finally, mutation of one or several glycosylation site(s), known to be required for oligomannose-restricted neutralizing antibodies, was shown to induce a subtle redistribution within the oligomannose series whilst maintaining overall oligomannose levels. The gp120 glycan profile is therefore robust to mutations and also remarkably similar across primary viral isolates from Africa, Asia and Europe and consequently represents an attractive target for vaccine development.
Supervisor: Scanlan, Chris; Wormald, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biochemistry ; Glycobiology ; glycosylation ; gp120