Although cell-cell fusion assays are useful surrogate methods for studying virus fusion, differences between cell-cell and virus-cell fusion exist. To examine paramyxovirus fusion in real time, we labeled viruses with fluorescent lipid probes and monitored virus-cell fusion by fluorimetry. Two parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5) isolates (W3A and SER) and PIV5 containing mutations within the fusion protein (F) were studied. Fusion was specific and temperature-dependent. Compared to many low pH-dependent viruses, the kinetics of PIV5 fusion was slow, approaching completion within several minutes. As predicted from cell-cell fusion assays, virus containing an F protein with an extended cytoplasmic tail (rSV5 F551) had reduced fusion compared to wild-type virus (W3A). In contrast, virus-cell fusion for SER occurred at near wild-type levels, despite the fact that this isolate exhibits a severely reduced cell-cell fusion phenotype. These results support the notion that virus-cell and cell-cell fusion have significant differences.
- Parainfluenza virus 5
- Paramyxovirus membrane fusion
- Simian virus 5
- Virus entry
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