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Insertion of the Two Cleavage Sites of the Respiratory Syncytial Virus Fusion Protein in Sendai Virus Fusion Protein Leads to Enhanced Cell-Cell Fusion and a Decreased Dependency on the HN Attachment Protein for Activity▿

By Joanna Rawling, Blanca García-Barreno and José A. Melero


Cell entry by paramyxoviruses requires fusion of the viral envelope with the target cell membrane. Fusion is mediated by the viral fusion (F) glycoprotein and usually requires the aid of the attachment glycoprotein (G, H or HN, depending on the virus). Human respiratory syncytial virus F protein (FRSV) is able to mediate membrane fusion in the absence of the attachment G protein and is unique in possessing two multibasic furin cleavage sites, separated by a region of 27 amino acids (pep27). Cleavage at both sites is required for cell-cell fusion. We have investigated the significance of the two cleavage sites and pep27 in the context of Sendai virus F protein (FSeV), which possesses a single monobasic cleavage site and requires both coexpression of the HN attachment protein and trypsin in order to fuse cells. Inclusion of both FRSV cleavage sites in FSeV resulted in a dramatic increase in cell-cell fusion activity in the presence of HN. Furthermore, chimeric FSeV mutants containing both FRSV cleavage sites demonstrated cell-cell fusion in the absence of HN. The presence of two multibasic cleavage sites may therefore represent a strategy to regulate activation of a paramyxovirus F protein for cell-cell fusion in the absence of an attachment protein

Topics: Virus-Cell Interactions
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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