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

Animal viruses are able to fuse with prokaryotic cells. Fusion between Sendai or influenza virions and Mycoplasma.

Sendai and influenza virions are able to fuse with mycoplasmata. Virus-Mycoplasma fusion was demonstrated by the use of fluorescently labeled intact virions and fluorescence dequenching, as well as by electron microscopy. A high degree of fusion was observed upon incubation of both virions with Mycoplasma gallisepticum or Mycoplasma capricolum. Significantly less virus-cell fusion was observed with Acholeplasma laidlawii, whose membrane contains relatively low amounts of cholesterol. The requirement of cholesterol for allowing virus-Mycoplasma fusion was also demonstrated by showing that a low degree of fusion was obtained with M. capricolum, whose cholesterol content was decreased by modifying its growth medium. Fluorescence dequenching was not observed by incubating unfusogenic virions with mycoplasmata. Sendai virions were rendered nonfusogenic by treatment with trypsin, phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride, or dithiothreitol, whereas influenza virions were made nonfusogenic by treatment with glutaraldehyde, ammonium hydroxide, high temperatures, or incubation at low pH. Practically no fusion was observed using influenza virions bearing uncleaved hemagglutinin. Trypsinization of influenza virions bearing uncleaved hemagglutinin greatly stimulated their ability to fuse with Mycoplasma cells. Similarly to intact virus particles, also reconstituted virus envelopes, bearing the two viral glycoproteins, fused with M. capricolum. However, membrane vesicles, bearing only the viral binding (HN) or fusion (F) glycoproteins, failed to fuse with mycoplasmata. Fusion between animal enveloped virions and prokaryotic cells was thus demonstrated.[1]


  1. Animal viruses are able to fuse with prokaryotic cells. Fusion between Sendai or influenza virions and Mycoplasma. Citovsky, V., Rottem, S., Nussbaum, O., Laster, Y., Rott, R., Loyter, A. J. Biol. Chem. (1988) [Pubmed]
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