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

Y. I. Henis, Y. Herman-Barhom, B. Aroeti, O. Gutman

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36 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)17119-17125
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number29
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


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