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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Human parainfluenza virus type 3 HN-receptor interaction: effect of 4-guanidino-Neu5Ac2en on a neuraminidase-deficient variant.

The envelope of human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPF3) contains two viral glycoproteins, the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase ( HN) and the fusion protein (F). HN, which is responsible for receptor attachment and for promoting F-mediated fusion, also possesses neuraminidase (receptor-destroying) activity. We reported previously that 4-guanidino-neu5Ac2en (4-GU-DANA) and related sialic acid-based inhibitors of HPF3 neuraminidase activity also inhibit HN-mediated receptor binding and fusion processes not involving neuraminidase activity. We have now examined this mechanism, as well as neuraminidase's role in the viral life cycle, using a neuraminidase-deficient HPF3 variant (C28a) and stable cell lines expressing C28a or wild-type (wt) HN. C28a, which has a wt F sequence and two point mutations in the HN gene corresponding to two amino acid changes in the HN protein, is the first HPF3 variant with insignificant neuraminidase activity. Cells expressing C28a HN did not bind erythrocytes at 4 degrees C unless pretreated with neuraminidase, but no such pretreatment was required for hemadsorption activity (HAD) at 22 or 37 degrees C. HAD was blocked by 4-GU-DANA, attesting to the ability of this compound to inhibit HN's receptor-binding activity. C28a or wt plaque enlargement, a process that involves cell-cell fusion and does not depend on virion release, is diminished by the presence of 4-GU-DANA, confirming the inhibitory effect of 4-GU-DANA on the fusogenic function of C28a HN. In C28a-infected cell monolayers, virion release and thus multicycle replication are severely restricted. This defect was corrected by supplementation of exogenous neuraminidase and also by the addition of 4-GU-DANA; neuraminidase destroys the receptors whereby newly formed C28a virions would remain attached to the cell surface, whereas 4-GU-DANA prevents the attachment itself, obviating the need for receptor cleavage. In accord with the ability of 4-GU-DANA to prevent attachment, the neuraminidase inhibitory effect of 4-GU-DANA on wt HPF3 did not diminish virion release into the medium. Thus, it is by inhibition of viral entry and syncytium formation that sialic acid analogs like 4-GU-DANA may counteract wt HPF3 infection.[1]


  1. Human parainfluenza virus type 3 HN-receptor interaction: effect of 4-guanidino-Neu5Ac2en on a neuraminidase-deficient variant. Porotto, M., Greengard, O., Poltoratskaia, N., Horga, M.A., Moscona, A. J. Virol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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