Pressure-induced fusogenic conformation of vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein.
ABSTRACT Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is composed of a ribonucleoprotein core surrounded by a lipid envelope presenting an integral glycoprotein (G). The homotrimeric VSV G protein exhibits a membrane fusion activity that can be elicited by low pH. The fusion event is crucial to entry into the cell and disassembly followed by viral replication. To understand the conformational changes involved in this process, the effects of high hydrostatic pressure and urea on VSV particles and isolated G protein were investigated. With pressures up to 3.0 kbar VSV particles were converted into the fusogenic conformation, as measured by a fusion assay and by the binding of bis-ANS. The magnitude of the changes was similar to that promoted by lowering the pH. To further understand the relationship between stability and conversion into the fusion-active states, the stability of the G protein was tested against urea and high pressure. High urea produced a large red shift in the tryptophan fluorescence of G protein whereas pressure promoted a smaller change. Pressure induced equal fluorescence changes in isolated G protein and virions, indicating that virus inactivation induced by pressure is due to changes in the G protein. Fluorescence microscopy showed that pressurized particles were capable of fusing with the cell membrane without causing infection. We propose that pressure elicits a conformational change in the G protein, which maintains the fusion properties but suppresses the entry of the virus by endocytosis. Binding of bis-ANS indicates the presence of hydrophobic cavities in the G protein. Pressure also caused an increase in light scattering of VSV G protein, reinforcing the hypothesis that high pressure elicits the fusogenic activity of VSV G protein. This "fusion-intermediate state" induced by pressure has minor changes in secondary structure and is likely the cause of nonproductive infections.
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ABSTRACT: Mayaro virus is an enveloped virus that belongs to the Alphavirus genus. To gain insight into the mechanism involved in Mayaro virus membrane fusion, we used hydrostatic pressure and low pH to isolate a fusion-active state of Mayaro glycoproteins. In response to pressure, E1 glycoprotein undergoes structural changes resulting in the formation of a stable conformation. This state was characterized and correlated to that induced by low pH as measured by intrinsic fluorescence, 4,4'-dianilino-1,1'-binaphthyl-5,5'-disulfonic acid, dipotassium salt fluorescence, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, electron microscopy, and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. In parallel, we used a neutralization assay to show that Mayaro virus in the fusogenic state retained most of the original immunogenic properties and could elicit high titers of neutralizing antibodies.Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics 02/2006; 44(3):325-35. · 3.74 Impact Factor