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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2009 Apr;19(2):189-96. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Apr 6.

Class III viral membrane fusion proteins.

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Department of Virology, Pasteur Institute, 25 rue du Dr. Roux, Paris, France.


Accumulating structural studies of viral fusion glycoproteins have revealed unanticipated structural relationships between unrelated virus families and allowed the grouping of these membrane fusogens into three distinct classes. Here we review the newly identified group of class III viral fusion proteins, whose members include fusion proteins from rhabdoviruses, herpesviruses, and baculoviruses. While clearly related in structure, the class III viral fusion proteins exhibit distinct structural features in their architectures as well as in their membrane interacting fusion loops, which are likely related to their virus-specific differences in cellular entry. Further study of the similarities and differences in the class III viral fusion glycoproteins may provide greater insights into protein:membrane interactions that are key to promoting efficient bilayer fusion during virus entry.

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