I studied the glycosylation in vivo of a viral envelope protein, the glycoprotein of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), by pulse labelling of virus-infected HeLa cells with 3H-labelled monosaccharides (mannose, glucosamine). Radioactivity was incorporated into the fraction of membrane-bound polyribosomes, although metabolic conversion of [3H]-mannose into amino acids was negligible. Dissociation of bound polyribosomes revealed that the radioactively co-purified with the peptidyl-tRNA. The nascent peptides were released by alkaline hydrolysis, immunoprecipitated and analysed by polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis. It is apparent from the size distribution of the [3H]mannose-labelled nascent chains that attachment of carbohydrate starts when approximately half of the amino acid sequence of the viral glycoprotein has been synthesized.

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