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Dev Cell. 2008 Jan;14(1):11-21. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2007.12.008.

Viral and developmental cell fusion mechanisms: conservation and divergence.

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  • 1Department of Biology, The Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel.


Membrane fusion is a fundamental requirement in numerous developmental, physiological, and pathological processes in eukaryotes. So far, only a limited number of viral and cellular fusogens, proteins that fuse membranes, have been isolated and characterized. Despite the diversity in structures and functions of known fusogens, some common principles of action apply to all fusion reactions. These can serve as guidelines in the search for new fusogens, and may allow the formulation of a cross-species, unified theory to explain divergent and convergent evolutionary principles of membrane fusion.

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