Virion glycosylation influences mycobacteriophage immune recognition.

Publication date: Jul 12, 2023

Glycosylation of eukaryotic virus particles is common and influences their uptake, trafficking, and immune recognition. In contrast, glycosylation of bacteriophage particles has not been reported; phage virions typically do not enter the cytoplasm upon infection, and they do not generally inhabit eukaryotic systems. We show here that several genomically distinct phages of Mycobacteria are modified with glycans attached to the C terminus of capsid and tail tube protein subunits. These O-linked glycans influence antibody production and recognition, shielding viral particles from antibody binding and reducing production of neutralizing antibodies. Glycosylation is mediated by phage-encoded glycosyltransferases, and genomic analysis suggests that they are relatively common among mycobacteriophages. Putative glycosyltransferases are also encoded by some Gordonia and Streptomyces phages, but there is little evidence of glycosylation among the broader phage population. The immune response to glycosylated phage virions in mice suggests that glycosylation may be an advantageous property for phage therapy of Mycobacterium infections.

Concepts Keywords
Advantageous bacteriophages
Antibodies phage therapy
Mycobacteriophages viral glycosylation


Type Source Name
disease MESH infection
disease MESH Mycobacterium infections

Original Article

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