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

Membrane vesicles containing the Sendai virus binding glycoprotein, but not the viral fusion protein, fuse with phosphatidylserine liposomes at low pH.

Membrane vesicles containing the Sendai virus hemagglutinin/neuraminidase (HN) glycoprotein were able to induce carboxyfluorescein (CF) release from loaded phosphatidylserine (PS) but not loaded phosphatidylcholine (PC) liposomes. Similarly, fluorescence dequenching was observed only when HN vesicles, bearing self-quenched N-(7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl)phosphatidylethanolamine (N-NBD-PE), were incubated with PS but not PC liposomes. Thus, fusion between Sendai virus HN glycoprotein vesicles and the negatively charged PS liposomes is suggested. Induction of CF release and fluorescence dequenching were not observed when Pronase-treated HN vesicles were incubated with the PS liposomes. On the other hand, the fusogenic activity of the HN vesicles was not inhibited by treatment with dithiothreitol (DTT) or phenylmethanesulfonyl fluoride (PMSF), both of which are known to inhibit the Sendai virus fusogenic activity. Fusion was highly dependent on the pH of the medium, being maximal after an incubation of 60-90 s at pH 4. 0. Electron microscopy studies showed that incubation at pH 4.0 of the HN vesicles with PS liposomes, both of which are of an average diameter of 150 nm, resulted in the formation of large unilamellar vesicles, the average diameter of which reached 450 nm. The relevance of these observations to the mechanism of liposome-membrane and virus-membrane fusion is discussed.[1]


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