Exclusive Decoration of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Env with High-Mannose Type N-Glycans Is Not Compatible with Mucosal Transmission in Rhesus Macaques

Abstract

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) envelope (Env) proteins are extensively decorated with N-glycans, predominantly of the high-mannose type. However, it is unclear how high-mannose N-glycans on Env impact viral spread. We show that exclusive modification of SIV Env with these N-glycans reduces viral infectivity and abrogates mucosal transmission, despite increasing viral capture by immune cell lectins. Thus, high-mannose N-glycans have opposed effects on SIV infectivity and lectin reactivity, and a balance might be required for efficient mucosal transmission.

DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01358-15

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