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Virology. 1988 Oct;166(2):598-602.

Herpes simplex virus glycoprotein D is sufficient to induce spontaneous pH-independent fusion in a cell line that constitutively expresses the glycoprotein.

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Department of Experimental Pathology, University of Bologna, Italy.


Spontaneous small polykaryocytes were detected in a cell line designated BJ-o that harbors the BamHI J fragment of herpes simplex virus 1 DNA and expresses constitutively glycoprotein D (gD). The fusion activity of BJ-o cells correlated with gD production and was drastically reduced following exposure of the cells to monoclonal antibody HD1 to gD. Studies on the characteristics and requirements of cell fusion dependent on gD led to the conclusion that the characteristics and requirements for gD-mediated fusion activity of BJ-o cells are similar to those previously reported for cell fusion induced by the virus in that (i) polykaryocytosis was not augmented by exposure to medium of low pH with or without prior exposure to trypsin, (ii) the number of polykaryocytes was reduced following removal of terminal sialic acid residues by neuraminidase, and (iii) the number of polykaryocytes was augmented by masking of high-mannose N-linked oligosaccharides with concanavalin A or with its reduced form, succinyl concanavalin A. This effect was reversed by competition with mannose.

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