Glycan profiles of the 27 N-glycosylation sites of the HIV envelope protein CN54gp140

Martin Pabst, Martina Chang, Johannes Stadlmann, Friedrich Altmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Hope rests on the envelope proteins of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as protective vaccines and thus their antibody binding sites are of prime interest. 2G12 and other human antibodies bind to a cluster of oligomannose N-glycans. Owing to the extreme number and density of N-glycosylation sites gp160 and its recombinant form gp140 represent challenging tasks for site-specific glycosylation analysis. We have conducted a glycosylation analysis of CN54gp140 by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) using an ion trap as well as a Q-TOF instrument and standard software for glycopeptide identification. First, a deglycosylated sample of the protease digest served to locate the elution positions of peptides covering all of the 27 potential N-glycosylation sites. Then, the assignments of the similarly eluting glycopeptides were verified by collision-induced decay MS/MS experiments with elevated fragmentation energy. The acquisition of site-specific glycan profiles was facilitated by the use of buffered eluent, which rounds up all glycoforms of a peptide into one peak. Calculation of the molecular mass drawn on the weighted averages of the glycans at each site led to the actual mass of gp140 of approximately 120 kDa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-730
JournalBiological Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Glycoprotein
  • gp160
  • HIV
  • N-glycosylation


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