Six amino-terminal deletion mutants of the NH2-terminally anchored (type II orientation) hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) protein of parainfluenza virus type 3 were expressed in tissue culture by recombinant SV-40 viruses. The mutations consisted of progressive deletions of the cytoplasmic domain and, in some cases, of the hydrophobic signal/anchor. Three activities were dissociated for the signal/anchor: membrane insertion, translocation, and anchoring/transport. HN protein lacking the entire cytoplasmic tail was inserted efficiently into the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum but was translocated inefficiently into the lumen. However, the small amounts that were successfully translocated appeared to be processed subsequently in a manner indistinguishable from that of parental HN. Thus, the cytoplasmic domain was not required for maturation of this type II glycoprotein. Progressive deletions into the membrane anchor restored efficient translocation, indicating that the NH2-terminal 44 amino acids were fully dispensable for membrane insertion and translocation and that a 10-amino acid hydrophobic signal sequence was sufficient for both activities. These latter HN molecules appeared to be folded authentically as assayed by hemagglutination activity, reactivity with a conformation-specific antiserum, correct formation of intramolecular disulfide bonds, and homooligomerization. However, most (85-90%) of these molecules accumulated in the ER. This showed that folding and oligomerization into a biologically active form, which presumably represents a virion spike, occurs essentially to completion within that compartment but is not sufficient for efficient transport through the exocytotic pathway. Protein transport also appeared to depend on the structure of the membrane anchor. These latter mutants were not stably integrated in the membrane, and the small proportion (10-15%) that was processed through the exocytotic pathway was secreted. The maturation steps and some of the effects of mutations described here for a type II glycoprotein resemble previous observations for prototypic type I glycoproteins and are indicative of close similarities in these processes for proteins of both membrane orientations.

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