The N-linked oligomannose glycans of HIV gp120 are a target for both microbicide and vaccine design. The extent of cross-clade conservation of HIV oligomannose glycans is therefore a critical consideration for the development of HIV prophylaxes. We measured the oligomannose content of virion-associated gp120 from primary virus from PBMCs for a range of viral isolates and showed cross-clade elevation (62-79%) of these glycans relative to recombinant, monomeric gp120 (∼30%). We also confirmed that pseudoviral production systems can give rise to notably elevated gp120 oligomannose levels (∼98%), compared to gp120 derived from a single-plasmid viral system using the HIV(LAI) backbone (56%). This study highlights differences in glycosylation between virion-associated and recombinant gp120.
Bonomelli, C., Doores, K. J., Dunlop, D. C., Thaney, V., Dwek, R. A., Burton, D. R., … Scanlan, C. N. (2011). The glycan shield of HIV is predominantly oligomannose independently of production system or viral clade. PLoS ONE, 6(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0023521