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Biochemistry. 1994 Apr 19;33(15):4444-8.

Membrane interaction and conformational properties of the putative fusion peptide of PH-30, a protein active in sperm-egg fusion.

Author information

1
Institute for Biological Sciences, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

Abstract

A peptide representing the putative fusion domain of PH-30, a sperm surface protein involved in sperm-egg fusion, was synthesized, and its interaction with model lipid membranes was characterized by biophysical methods. While the peptide binds to the vesicles composed of both neutral and acidic lipids, the apparent affinity is significantly higher for the latter lipid class. The intervesicular lipid mixing assay suggests that the synthetic peptide is able to induce fusion of large unilamellar vesicles. Circular dichroism and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy show that while in an aqueous buffer the peptide exists in an essentially unordered conformation, binding to the membranes results in a conformational transition to a beta-structure. These data indicate that the fragment identified on the alpha-subunit of PH-30 as a putative fusion peptide is indeed a good candidate for this role. However, in contrast to what has been proposed for some viral fusion peptides, the PH-30 fusion domain is highly unlikely to act as an insertional "sided" helix.

PMID:
8161498
DOI:
10.1021/bi00181a002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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