Influence of N-Glycosylation on Virus–Host Interactions in Halorubrum lacusprofundi

L. Johanna Gebhard, Zlata Vershinin, Tomás Alarcón-Schumacher, Jerry Eichler, Susanne Erdmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


N-glycosylation is a post-translational modification of proteins that occurs across all three domains of life. In Archaea, N-glycosylation is crucial for cell stability and motility, but importantly also has significant implications for virus–host interactions. While some archaeal viruses present glycosylated proteins or interact with glycosylated host proteins, the direct influence of N-glycosylation on archaeal virus–host interactions remains to be elucidated. In this study, we generated an N-glycosylation-deficient mutant of Halorubrum lacusprofundi, a halophilic archaeon commonly used to study cold adaptation, and examined the impact of compromised N-glycosylation on the infection dynamics of two very diverse viruses. While compromised N-glycosylation had no influence on the life cycle of the head-tailed virus HRTV-DL1, we observed a significant effect on membrane-containing virus HFPV-1. Both intracellular genome numbers and extracellular virus particle numbers of HFPV-1 were increased in the mutant strain, which we attribute to instability of the surface-layer which builds the protein envelope of the cell. When testing the impact of compromised N-glycosylation on the life cycle of plasmid vesicles, specialized membrane vesicles that transfer a plasmid between host cells, we determined that plasmid vesicle stability is strongly dependent on the host glycosylation machinery. Our study thus provides important insight into the role of N-glycosylation in virus–host interactions in Archaea, while pointing to how this influence strongly differs amongst various viruses and virus-like elements.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1469
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023


  • archaea
  • archaeal virus
  • haloarchaea
  • protein glycosylation
  • virus

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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