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

Lateral mobility of both envelope proteins (F and HN) of Sendai virus in the cell membrane is essential for cell-cell fusion.

Fluorescence photobleaching recovery was employed to study the effects of specific immobilization of Sendai virus envelope glycoproteins (F, the fusion protein, and HN, the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase) on the virally mediated fusion of human erythrocytes. Lateral immobilization of varying fractions of F and/or HN (after virus adsorption and hemagglutination, but before fusion) was achieved by cross-linking them with succinyl concanavalin A (inhibiting both F and HN) or with specific rabbit IgG directed against either F or HN. Alternatively, agglutinated cells were treated with low concentrations of the above proteins (inducing only minor inhibition of either mobility or fusion), and immobilization of F and/or HN was induced by cross-linking with a secondary antibody; this protocol ensured a minimal contribution of direct binding to the viral proteins to the inhibition of fusion. Our results demonstrate that lateral immobilization of either F or HN results in a strong inhibition of cell-cell fusion and a much weaker inhibition of virus-cell fusion. The level of cell-cell fusion was directly correlated with the level of laterally mobile viral glycoproteins in the cell membrane (either F or HN). We conclude that lateral mobility of both F and HN in the red cell membrane is essential for cell-cell fusion and that not only F but also HN has a role in this fusion event. The possible reasons for the different dependence of cell-cell and virus-cell fusion on viral glycoprotein mobility are discussed.[1]


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