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Science. 1992 Nov 6;258(5084):917-24.

Membrane fusion.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0450.


Common themes are emerging from the study of viral, cell-cell, intracellular, and liposome fusion. Viral and cellular membrane fusion events are mediated by fusion proteins or fusion machines. Viral fusion proteins share important characteristics, notably a fusion peptide within a transmembrane-anchored polypeptide chain. At least one protein involved in a cell-cell fusion reaction resembles viral fusion proteins. Components of intracellular fusion machines are utilized in multiple membrane trafficking events and are conserved through evolution. Fusion pores develop during and intracellular fusion events suggesting similar mechanisms for many, if not all, fusion events.

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