The membrane-proximal domain of vesicular stomatitis virus G protein functions as a membrane fusion potentiator and can induce hemifusion

E. Jeetendra, Clinton S. Robison, Lorraine Albritton, Michael Whitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recently we showed that the membrane-proximal stem region of the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) G protein ectodomain (G stem [GS]), together with the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains, was sufficient to mediate efficient VSV budding (C. S. Robison and M. A. Whitt, J. Virol. 74:2239-2246, 2000). Here, we show that GS can also potentiate the membrane fusion activity of heterologous viral fusion proteins when GS is coexpressed with those proteins. For some fusion proteins, there was as much as a 40-fold increase in syncytium formation when GS was coexpressed compared to that seen when the fusion protein was expressed alone. Fusion potentiation by GS was not protein specific, since it occurred with both pH-dependent as well as pH-independent fusion proteins. Using a recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus encoding GS that contained an N-terminal hemagglutinin (HA) tag (GSHA virus), we found that the GSHA virus bound to cells as well as the wild-type virus did at pH 7.0; however, the GSHA virus was noninfectious. Analysis of cells expressing GSHA in a three-color membrane fusion assay revealed that GSHA could induce lipid mixing but not cytoplasmic mixing, indicating that GS can induce hemifusion. Treatment of GSHA virus-bound cells with the membrane-destabilizing drug chlorpromazine rescued the hemifusion block and allowed entry and subsequent replication of GSHA virus, demonstrating that GS-mediated hemifusion was a functional intermediate in the membrane fusion pathway. Using a series of truncation mutants, we also determined that only 14 residues of GS, together with the VSV G transmembrane and cytoplasmic tail, were sufficient for fusion potentiation. To our knowledge, this is the first report which shows that a small domain of one viral glycoprotein can promote the fusion activity of other, unrelated viral glycoproteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12300-12311
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume76
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

Fingerprint

Vesiculovirus
Membrane Fusion
G-proteins
Viruses
stems
Membranes
Vesicular Stomatitis
viruses
Proteins
Glycoproteins
Viral Fusion Proteins
proteins
Virus Release
glycoproteins
Chlorpromazine
viral fusion proteins
Hemagglutinins
Giant Cells
Virus Replication
vesicular stomatitis virus G protein

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology
  • Virology

Cite this

The membrane-proximal domain of vesicular stomatitis virus G protein functions as a membrane fusion potentiator and can induce hemifusion. / Jeetendra, E.; Robison, Clinton S.; Albritton, Lorraine; Whitt, Michael.

In: Journal of Virology, Vol. 76, No. 23, 01.12.2002, p. 12300-12311.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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