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Cell. 1987 Feb 13;48(3):441-52.

Ability of the hydrophobic fusion-related external domain of a paramyxovirus F protein to act as a membrane anchor.


The hydrophobic NH2 terminus of F1 (FRED) of the simian virus 5 fusion (F) protein is implicated in mediating cell fusion, but in the inactive F0 precursor the FRED is translocated across membranes. Hybrid proteins containing the FRED as a potential membrane anchorage domain and a mutant of F0 lacking the preceding five-arginine cleavage/activation site were used to study the effect of position on the FRED. The experiments indicate that the SV5 F protein has evolved an exquisite control system for biological activity: the FRED is close to the threshold of hydrophobicity required to function as a membrane anchor. The FRED is not sufficiently hydrophobic to halt translocation when in an internal position, but on cleavage/activation the threshold of hydrophobicity is effectively lowered, and the FRED, now the NH2 terminus of F1, is able to interact stably with membranes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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