Neuroblastoma cell fusion by a temperature-sensitive mutant of vesicular stomatitis virus

J. V. Hughes, B. J. Dille, R. L. Thimmig, T. C. Johnson, S. G. Rabinowitz, M. C. Dal Canto

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6 Scopus citations


A temperature sensitive mutant of vesicular stomatitis virus which does not mature properly when grown at 39°C promoted extensive fusion of murine neuroblastoma cells at this nonpermissive temperature. Polykaryocytes apparently formed as a result of fusion from within the cells that requires low doses of infectious virions for its promotion and is dependent on viral protein synthesis. Although 90% of infected N-18 neuroblastoma cells were fused by 15 h after infection, larger polykaryocytes continued to form, leading to an average of 28 nuclei per polykaryocyte as a result of polykaryocytes fusing to each other. Two neuroblastoma cell lines have been observed to undergo fusion, whereas three other cell lines (BHK-21, CHO, and 3T3) were incapable of forming polykaryocytes, suggesting that nervous system-derived cells are particularly susceptible to vesicular stomatitis virus-induced fusion. Although the normal assembly of the protein components of this virus is deficient at 39°C, the G glycoprotein was inserted into the infected cell membranes at this temperature. Two lines of evidence suggest that the expression of G at the cell surface promotes this polykaryocyte formation: (i) inhibition of glycosylation, which may be involved in the migration of the G protein to the cellular plasma membranes, will inhibit the cell fusion reaction; (ii) addition of antiserum, directed toward the purified G glycoprotein, will also inhibit cell fusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)883-890
Number of pages8
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Virology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology


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