We have previously demonstrated that Sindbis virus infection of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells altered the protein glycosylation machinery of the cell, so that both normal, full-size (nine mannose-containing) oligosaccharides and abnormal, ‘truncated’ (five mannose-containing) oligosaccharides are transferred from lipid-linked precursors to newly synthesized viral membrane glycoproteins. In the present studies, we have examined the precursor oligosaccharides on viral glycoproteins that were pulse-labelled with [H]mannose in the presence or absence of glucose, since glucose starvation of uninfected CHO cells has been reported to induce synthesis of truncated precursor oligosaccharides. Pulse-labelling in the absence of glucose led to a greater than 10-fold increase in the relative amount of the truncated precursor oligosaccharides being transferred to the newly synthesized viral glycoproteins and to an apparent underglycosylation of some precursor viral polypeptides, with some asparaginyl sites not acquiring covalently linked oligosaccharides. The mature virion glycoproteins from CHO cells which were pulse-labelled in the absence of glucose and then ‘chased’ in the presence of glucose contained proportionately more unusual ManGlcNAc-size oligosaccharides. These small neutral-type oligosaccharides were apparently not as good a substrate for further processing into complex acidic-type oligosaccharides as the normal ManGlcNAc intermediate that results from the full-size precursor oligosaccharides.


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