Carbohydrate dramatically influences immune reactivity of antisera to viral glycoprotein antigens

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Science  14 Dec 1984:
Vol. 226, Issue 4680, pp. 1328-1330
DOI: 10.1126/science.6505693


Analysis of the ability of heteroantisera, monoclonal antibodies, and antibodies to synthetic peptides to react with viral glycoproteins deglycosylated with endoglycosidase F revealed that the reactivities of most of the antibodies to these glycoprotein antigens were influenced by the attached carbohydrate moieties. All heteroantisera prepared in rabbits or goats to either fully glycosylated retroviruses or influenza virus were virtually unreactive toward the viral glycoproteins after carbohydrate removal. Analyses with a panel of monoclonal antibodies to purified Rauscher murine leukemia virus gp70 indicated that the reactivity of most of these antibodies improved while the reactivity of others decreased or remain unchanged after carbohydrate removal. Most of the antibodies to synthetic peptide sequences in the influenza virus hemagglutinin also improved in reactivity after carbohydrate removal. These data indicate that carbohydrate side chains on viral glycoproteins influence the immune response to these antigens, and the more native the glycoprotein immunogen, the more dramatic the carbohydrate influence. Thus the immune response to these glycoproteins is not simply a function of the immunogenicity of certain domains over others but rather is a direct measure of carbohydrate influences on the host's perception of the foreign antigen.