C3b receptor activity on transfected cells expressing glycoprotein C of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2.
Glycoprotein C from herpes simplex virus type 1 (gC-1 from HSV-1) acts as a receptor for the C3b fragment of the third component of complement on HSV-1-infected cell surfaces. Direct binding assays with purified gC-1 and C3b demonstrate that other viral and cellular proteins are not required for this interaction. Although C3b receptor activity is not expressed on HSV-2-infected cell surfaces, purified gC-2 specifically binds C3b in direct binding assays, suggesting that gC-1 and gC-2 are functionally similar. Here, we used a transient transfection system to further characterize the role of gC-1 and gC-2 as C3b receptors and to localize the site(s) on gC involved in C3b binding. The genes for gC-1 and gC-2 were each cloned into a eucaryotic expression vector containing the Rous sarcoma virus long terminal repeat as the promoter and transfected into NIH 3T3 cells. The expressed proteins were similar in molecular size, extent of carbohydrate processing, and antigenic properties to gC-1 and gC-2 purified from infected cells. Using a double-label immunofluorescence assay, we found that both gC-1 and gC-2 were expressed on the surfaces of transfected cells and bound C3b. These results suggest that other proteins expressed during HSV-2 infection prevent receptor activity. We constructed three in-frame deletion mutants of gC-2 to identify domains on the protein important for C3b receptor activity. These mutants lacked amino acids 26 to 73, 219 to 244, or 318 to 346. The mutant protein lacking residues 26 to 73 was reactive with two monoclonal antibodies recognizing distinct epitopes, showed a wild-type pattern of carbohydrate processing, and bound C3b on the transfected cell surface. These results suggest that residues 26 to 73 are not involved in C3b binding. The other two mutant proteins were present on the cell surface, but did not bind C3b. In addition, these mutant proteins showed altered patterns of carbohydrate processing, formed aggregates, and were no longer recognized by the monoclonal antibodies. These properties indicate that removal of residues 219 to 244 or 318 to 346 disrupted the native conformation of gC-2, possibly owing to an alteration in the spacing between critical cysteine residues.
Seidel-Dugan, C; Ponce de Leon, M; Friedman, HM; Fries, LF; Frank, MM; Cohen, GH; Eisenberg, RJ
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