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Biochemistry. 1991 Jun 4;30(22):5491-7.

Interaction of influenza hemagglutinin amino-terminal peptide with phospholipid vesicles: a fluorescence study.

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Section of Membrane Structure and Function, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


We have studied tryptophan fluorescence from a 20-residue synthetic peptide corresponding to the amino terminal of the HA2 subunit of the influenza virus hemagglutinin protein, a putative "fusion" peptide. Decay-associated spectra have been obtained at pH 7.4 and at pH 5 (the optimal pH for influenza virus fusion) in the presence and absence of liposomes. We demonstrate that a blue shift in the total steady-state fluorescence spectrum upon binding to liposomes is due to a movement in characteristic emission wavelength and increased lifetime of one of the resolved spectral components. In contrast, a further shift after lowering the pH is the product of a redistribution in the relative amplitudes of spectral components. Also, each decay component is quenched by spin-labels or anthroxyl groups normally located within the hydrocarbon interior of the membranes. Calculations are presented leading to an estimate of the distance of the tryptophan residue from the bilayer center, suggesting that the tryptophan residues are at or near the hydrocarbon-polar interface. No gross positional change was detected between pH values. Rotational depolarization is shown to be retarded by liposome binding, more so at low pH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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