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J Gen Virol. 1994 Dec;75 ( Pt 12):3517-23.

Fusion properties of cells constitutively expressing human parainfluenza virus type 4A haemagglutinin-neuraminidase and fusion glycoproteins.

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Department of Microbiology, Mie University School of Medicine, Japan.


We established HeLa cell lines that constitutively expressed the fusion (F) and/or haemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) glycoproteins of human parainfluenza virus type 4A (PIV-4A) and used them to analyse the roles of these glycoproteins in virus-induced cell fusion. No syncytium formation occurred, even in HeLa cells expressing both the F and HN proteins (HeLa-4aF+HN cells). Also no syncytium was found in a mixed culture of cells expressing the F protein (HeLa-4aF) and the HN protein (HeLa-4aHN). Syncytia were observed in HeLa-4aF cells transfected with the HN gene, but no syncytium formation was found in HeLa-4aHN cells transfected with the F gene. Co-cultivation of HeLa-4aF+HN cells with HeLa-4aF cells generated large polykaryocytes, whereas co-cultivation with HeLa-4aHN cells induced no cell fusion. Infection of HeLa-4aF cells with PIV-4A generated large syncytia and degenerated nuclei, whereas little or no polykaryocytes were found in HeLa-4aHN cells infected with PIV-4A. From the above findings, the following conclusions were drawn: (i) the expression of both the F and HN proteins in the same cell is necessary for cell fusion; (ii) the expression of the F protein alone enhances susceptibility to cell fusion; (iii) the constitutive expression of the HN protein promotes resistance to paramyxovirus-induced cell fusion.

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