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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Homooligomerization of the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase glycoprotein of human parainfluenza virus type 3 occurs before the acquisition of correct intramolecular disulfide bonds and mature immunoreactivity.

The posttranslational maturation of the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) glycoprotein of human parainfluenza type 3 virus (PIV3) was investigated in pulse-chase experiments in which folding was monitored by immunoprecipitation with conformation-dependent antibodies and gel electrophoresis under nonreducing conditions and oligomerization was monitored by chemical cross-linking and sedimentation in sucrose gradients. The acquisition of mature immunoreactivity and the formation of correct intramolecular disulfide bonds were concurrent events, with half-times of approximately 10 to 15 min. The finding that newly synthesized HN had little reactivity with postinfection cotton rat serum or with most of the members of a panel of HN-specific monoclonal antibodies indicated that the major epitopes of the PIV3 HN protein are highly conformational in nature. Chemical cross-linking studies indicated that the mature HN protein is present in homoligomers, which are probably tetramers. These findings are consistent with recent observations for the HN protein of Sendai virus (S.D. Thompson, W.G. Laver, K.G. Murti, and A. Portner, J. Virol. 62:4653--4660, 1988; S. Vidal, G. Mottet, D. Kolakofsky, and L. Roux, J. Virol. 63:892--900, 1989). Surprisingly, analysis of pulse-labeled HN protein by sedimentation on sucrose gradients after labeling periods of as little as 2 min indicated that it was present intracellularly only in oligomeric form. The same results were obtained when the labeling period was preceded by a 1.5-h cycloheximide treatment to clear the endoplasmic reticulum of presynthesized HN protein, which indicated that the oligomerization did not involve the incorporation of newly synthesized monomers into partially assembled oligomers. Subsequent chase incubations did not significantly alter the sedimentation profile or stability of the oligomeric forms, suggesting that oligomers detected after short labeling periods were tetramers. Association with cellular proteins did not appear to be responsible for the sedimentation of newly synthesized HN protein as an oligomer. The absence of a detectable monomeric form of intracellular HN protein raised the possibility that oligomerization is cotranslational, and it is possible that the type II membrane orientation of the HN protein might be an important factor in its mode of oligomerization.[1]


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