We previously showed that the factor X activator of Russell's viper venom (RVV-X) contains six N-linked oligosaccharide chains: four in the heavy chain and one in each of the two light chains [Gowda, D. C., Jackson, C. M., Hensley, P., and Davidson, E. A. (1994) J. Biol. Chem. 269, 1064410650).] In the present study, we have investigated the role of the carbohydrate moieties in the structure and functional activity of RVV-X. Sequential removal of sugar residues from the terminal ends by exoglycosidases, up to 50% of total carbohydrates, did not significantly alter the activity of RVV-X, demonstrating that the peripheral carbohydrate moieties are not involved in interactions with factor X. However, removal of whole oligosaccharide chains by N-glycanase caused an almost total loss of the ability of RVV-X to activate factor X to factor X(a). In parallel with these observations, circular dichroism spectroscopy showed that complete deglycosylation, but not the removal of peripheral sugars, caused a significant change in the secondary structure. Together, these data demonstrate that the oligosaccharide chains are necessary for the functional activity, and that the trimannosylchitobiose core residues are sufficient for the maintenance of the native polypeptide structure.
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