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

Influence of the human parainfluenza virus 3 attachment protein's neuraminidase activity on its capacity to activate the fusion protein.

In order to examine functions of the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase ( HN) protein that quantitatively influence fusion promotion, human parainfluenza virus 3 (HPIV3) variants with alterations in HN were studied. The variant HNs have mutations that affect either receptor binding avidity, neuraminidase activity, or fusion protein (F) activation. Neuraminidase activity was regulated by manipulation of temperature and pH. F activation was assessed by quantitating the irreversible binding of target erythrocytes (RBC) to HN/F- coexpressing cells in the presence of 4-GU-DANA (zanamivir) to release target cells bound only by HN-receptor interactions; the remaining, irreversibly bound target cells are retained via the fusion protein. In cells coexpressing wild-type (wt) or variant HNs with wt F, the fusion promotion capacity of HN was distinguished from target cell binding by measuring changes with time in the amounts of target RBC that were (i) reversibly bound by HN-receptor interaction (released only upon the addition of 4-GU-DANA), (ii) released by HN's neuraminidase, and (iii) irreversibly bound by F-insertion or fusion (F triggered). For wt HN, lowering the pH (to approach the optimum for HPIV3 neuraminidase) decreased F triggering via release of HN from its receptor. An HN variant with increased receptor binding avidity had F-triggering efficiency like that of wt HN at pH 8.0, but this efficiency was not decreased by lowering the pH to 5.7, which suggested that the variant HN's higher receptor binding activity counterbalanced the receptor dissociation promoted by increased neuraminidase activity. To dissect the specific contribution of neuraminidase to triggering, two variant HNs that are triggering-defective due to a mutation in the HN stalk were evaluated. One of these variants has, in addition, a mutation in the globular head that renders it neuraminidase dead, while the HN with the stalk mutation alone has 30% of wt neuraminidase. While the variant without neuraminidase activity triggered F effectively at 37 degrees C irrespective of pH, the variant possessing effective neuraminidase activity completely failed to activate F at pH 5.7 and was capable of only minimal triggering activity even at pH 8. 0. These results demonstrate that neuraminidase activity impacts the extent of HPIV3-mediated fusion by releasing HN from contact with receptor. Any particular HN's competence to promote F-mediated fusion depends on the balance between its inherent F-triggering efficacy and its receptor-attachment regulatory functions (binding and receptor cleavage).[1]


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