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[en] Coronaviruses (CoVs) can cause life-threatening respiratory diseases. Their infectious entry requires viral spike (S) proteins, which attach to cell receptors, undergo proteolytic cleavage, and then refold in a process that catalyzes virus-cell membrane fusion. Fusion-inhibiting peptides bind to S proteins, interfere with refolding, and prevent infection. Here we conjugated fusion-inhibiting peptides to various lipids, expecting this to secure peptides onto cell membranes and thereby increase antiviral potencies. Cholesterol or palmitate adducts increased antiviral potencies up to 1000-fold. Antiviral effects were evident after S proteolytic cleavage, implying that lipid conjugates affixed the peptides at sites of protease-triggered fusion activation. Unlike lipid-free peptides, the lipopeptides suppressed CoV S protein-directed virus entry taking place within endosomes. Cell imaging revealed intracellular peptide aggregates, consistent with their endocytosis into compartments where CoV entry takes place. These findings suggest that lipidations localize antiviral peptides to protease-rich sites of CoV fusion, thereby protecting cells from diverse CoVs. - Graphical abstract: Early and late CoV entry is depicted as virus-cell fusion at cell surfaces and endosomes, respectively. Scissors represent virus-activating proteases. The HR2 peptides are in green, with lipid-free peptides as monomers (middle panel) and lipopeptides as micellar aggregates (right panel). - Highlights: • Lipidation increases antiviral activities of CoV fusion-inhibiting peptides. • Fusion-inhibiting peptides target proteolytically-triggered CoV spike proteins. • Lipidated peptides suppress CoVs that are occluded within endosomes before cytosolic entry.
[en] The membrane-spanning domain (MSD) of human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein (Env) is critical for its biological activity. Initial studies have defined an almost invariant 'core' structure in the MSD and demonstrated that it is crucial for anchoring Env in the membrane and virus entry. We show here that amino acid substitutions in the MSD 'core' do not influence specific virus-cell attachment, nor CD4 receptor and CXCR4 coreceptor recognition by Env. However, substitutions within the MSD 'core' delayed the kinetics and reduced the efficiency of cell-cell fusion mediated by Env. Although we observed no evidence that membrane fusion mediated by the MSD core mutants was arrested at a hemifusion stage, impaired Env fusogenicity was correlated with minor conformational changes in the V2, C1, and C5 regions in gp120 and the immunodominant loop in gp41. These changes could delay initiation of the conformational changes required in the fusion process.
[en] The reovirus fusion-associated small transmembrane (FAST) proteins evolved to induce cell-cell, rather than virus-cell, membrane fusion. It is unclear whether the FAST protein fusion reaction proceeds in the same manner as the enveloped virus fusion proteins. We now show that fluorescence-based cell-cell and cell-RBC hemifusion assays are unsuited for detecting lipid mixing in the absence of content mixing during FAST protein-mediated membrane fusion. Furthermore, membrane curvature agents that inhibit hemifusion or promote pore formation mediated by influenza hemagglutinin had no effect on p14-induced cell-cell fusion, even under conditions of limiting p14 concentrations. Standard assays used to detect fusion intermediates induced by enveloped virus fusion proteins are therefore not applicable to the FAST proteins. These results suggest the possibility that the nature of the fusion intermediates or the mechanisms used to transit through the various stages of the fusion reaction may differ between these distinct classes of viral fusogens.
[en] Retroviral envelope glycoproteins undergo proteolytic processing by cellular subtilisin-like proprotein convertases at a polybasic amino-acid site in order to produce the two functional subunits, SU and TM. Most previous studies have indicated that envelope-protein cleavage is required for rendering the protein competent for promoting membrane fusion and for virus infectivity. We have investigated the role of proteolytic processing of the Moloney murine leukemia virus envelope-protein through site-directed mutagenesis of the residues near the SU-TM cleavage site and have established that uncleaved glycoprotein is unable either to be incorporated into virus particles efficiently or to induce membrane fusion. Additionally, the results suggest that cleavage of the envelope protein plays an important role in intracellular trafficking of protein via the cellular secretory pathway. Based on our results it was concluded that a positively charged residue located at either P2 or P4 along with the arginine at P1 is essential for cleavage.
[en] The cholinergic receptor is the only membranous receptor which has been purified and partially characterized from a physicochemical standpoint. Up to now the membrane receptors of other mediators and peptidic hormones were only characterized from a functional point of view. Analysis of the recognition function is based on binding studies using a labelled ligand. Among the most important technical problems raising from an application of autoradiography to the detection and characterization of membrane receptors, are those related to: the choice of a radioactive ligand with high specific activity and allowing detection of traces with an elevated resolving power; and the choice of experimental conditions ensuring the stability of the ligand-receptor complex during the course of sample preparation and leading to a maximum reduction of non-specific binding
[en] The brief review of various methods used to isolate flatworm membranes and the detailed protocol of methods to fractionate the membranes of the surface epithelial layer of Schistosoma mansoni and brush border membrane of Hymenolepis diminuta is presented
[en] MUC1, a transmembrane glycoprotein, is abnormally over-expressed in most human adenocarcinomas. MUC1 association with cytoplasmic cell signal regulators and nuclear accumulation are important for its tumor related activities. Little is known about how MUC1 translocates from the cell membrane to the cytoplasm. In this study, live cell imaging was used to study MUC1 intracellular trafficking. The interaction between EGFR and MUC1 was mapped by FRET analysis and EGF stimulated MUC1 endocytosis was observed directly through live cell imaging. MUC1-CT endocytosis was clathrin and dynamin dependent. Rab5 over-expression resulted in decreased cell membrane localization of MUC1, with accumulation of MUC1 endocytic vesicles in the peri-nuclear region. Conversely, over-expression of a Rab5 dominant negative mutant (S34N) resulted in redistribution of MUC1 from the peri-nuclear region to the cytoplasm. Collectively, these results indicated that MUC1 intra-cellular trafficking occurs through a regulated process that was stimulated by direct EGFR and MUC1 interaction, mediated by clathrin coated pits that were dynamin dependent and regulated by Rab5
[en] Certain short polycations, such as TAT and polyarginine, rapidly pass through the plasma membranes of mammalian cells by an unknown mechanism called transduction as well as by endocytosis and macropinocytosis. These cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) promise to be medically useful when fused to biologically active peptides. I offer a simple model in which one or more CPPs and the phosphatidylserines of the inner leaflet form a kind of capacitor with a voltage in excess of about 200 mV, high enough to create a molecular electropore. The model is consistent with an empirical upper limit on the cargo peptide of 40–60 amino acids and with experimental data on how the transduction of a polyarginine-fluorophore into mouse C2C12 myoblasts depends on the number of arginines in the CPP and on the CPP concentration. The model makes three testable predictions