As a means of examining the extent to which the polypeptide structure of a virus glycoprotein contributes to the overall structure and composition of the carbohydrate moieties, we have made a detailed comparison of the structure of the oligosaccharide moieties of wild-type vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) glycoprotein with those of a glycoprotein-defective mutant of VSV, -17 (VSV). Characterization of the oligosaccharides by ion-exchange and gel filtration chromatography after sequential enzymic degradation reveals similar structures in the wt and mutant glycoproteins. However, the altered polypeptide structure of the -17 glycoprotein affects the extent of addition of sialic acid and fucose, both of which are added late in the maturation of the glycoprotein.


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