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Modifying the insect cell N-glycosylation pathway with immediate early baculovirus expression vectors

Abstract

The baculovirus-insect cell expression system is well-suited for recombinant glycoprotein production because baculovirus vectors can provide high levels of expression and insect cells can modify newly synthesized proteins in eucaryotic fashion. However, the N-glycosylation pathway of baculovirus-infected insect cells differs from the pathway found in higher eucaryotes, as indicated by the fact that glycoproteins produced in the baculovirus system typically lack complex biantennary N-linked oligosaccharide side chains containing penultimate galactose and terminal sialic acid residues. We recently developed a new type of baculovirus vector that can express foreign genes immediately after infection under the control of the viral ie 1 promoter. These immediate early baculovirus expression vectors can be used to modify the insect cell N-glycosylation pathway and produce a foreign glycoprotein with more extensively processed N-linked oligosaccharides. These vectors can also be used to study the influence of the late steps in N-linked oligosaccharide processing on glycoprotein function. Further development could lead to baculovirus-insect cell expression systems that can produce recombinant glycoproteins with complex biantennary N-linked oligosaccharides structurally identical to those produced by higher eucaryotes.

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Jarvis, D., Finn, E. Modifying the insect cell N-glycosylation pathway with immediate early baculovirus expression vectors. Nat Biotechnol 14, 1288–1292 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt1096-1288

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