CD43 (leukosialin, gpL115, sialophorin) is a major sialoglycoprotein widely expressed on hematopoietic cells that is defective in the congenital immunodeficiency Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. It is thought to play an important role in cell-cell interactions and to be a costimulatory molecule for T lymphocyte activation. Using a metabolic 35SO4(2-) radiolabeling assay or biotinylation of cell surface proteins, we describe here that CD43 are sulfated molecules the glycosylation of which is altered in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected leukemic T cells of the CEM line. Hyposialylation of O-glycans and changed substitution on N-acetylgalactosamine residues are observed. The glycosylation defect is associated with an impairment of CD43-mediated homotypic aggregation which can be restored by resialylation. The hyposialylation of CD43 on HIV-1+ cells may explain the high prevalence of autoantibodies directed against nonsialylated CD43 that have been detected in HIV-1-infected individuals. A defect in glycosylation of important molecules such as CD43 or, as we recently described, CD45 may explain alterations of T cell functions and viability in HIV-1-infected individuals. In addition, a possible implication of hyposialylation in the HIV-1-infected cells entrapment in lymph nodes could be envisioned.

This content is only available as a PDF.