Class II membrane glycoproteins share a common topology of the NH2 terminus inside and the COOH terminus outside the cell. Their transport to the cell surface is initiated by the function of a single hydrophobic domain near the NH2 terminus. This functional domain serves both as an uncleaved signal sequence and as a transmembrane anchor. We examined the signal and anchor functions of influenza virus neuraminidase, a prototype class II membrane glycoprotein, by deletion analysis of its long, uncharged amino-terminal region. The results presented here show that the entire stretch of 29 uncharged amino acids (7 to 35) is not required for either a signal sequence or an anchor sequence function. On the basis of translocation and membrane stability data for different mutants, we suggest that the first 20 amino acid residues (7 to 27) are likely to provide the hydrophobic core for these functions and that within this putative subdomain some sequences are more efficient than the other sequences in providing a translocation function. Finally, it appears that neuraminidase and its mutant proteins are translocated with the proper orientation, regardless of the characteristics of the flanking sequences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science