The env gene of Rous sarcoma virus codes for two glycoproteins which are located on the surface of infectious virions. Subcloning of these coding sequences in the place of the late region of SV40 DNA has allowed the expression of a normally glycosylated, functionally active glycoprotein complex on the surface of monkey cells. Through the use of site‐directed mutagenesis, the role of specific amino acids in the signal peptide, signal peptidase cleavage site, and membrane anchor region have been investigated. Amino‐terminal mutations have shown that deletion of the signal peptidase cleavage site along with one or two amino acids of the hydrophobic signal peptide results in the synthesis of an unglycosylated. uncleaved, and presumably cytoplasmically located precursor. Nevertheless, changing the signal peptidase cleavage site from ala/asp to ala/asn does not block the translocation of the glycoprotein across the membrane or the action of the peptidase. At the other end of the molecule, carboxy‐terminal mutations have shown that the deletion of the hydrophobic membrane anchor region is not sufficient for the secretion of the truncated glycoprotein. Interpretations of these results based on recent models for protein transport and secretion are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology