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Can viral envelope proteins act as or induce proton channels?

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Bioscience reports
Publication Date
Volume
7
Issue
10
Pages
761–769
Identifiers
PMID: 2451943
Source
Medline

Abstract

The mechanism of the process leading to cell-cell fusion induced by enveloped viruses at a mildly acidic pH is as yet unknown. In this report we demonstrate that the fusion events induced by three viruses of different families, namely Semliki Forest (togavirus), vesicular stomatitis (rhabdovirus) and influenza (orthomyxovirus), share common features. In all three systems a sudden drop of the intracellular pH--below the critical extracellular pH required to trigger "fusion from within" (FFWI)--is observed. This influx of protons is specific and not due to a general leakiness of the plasma membrane, and therefore might be caused by the opening of a proton channel.

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