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Biochemistry. 1997 Jul 22;36(29):8890-6.

Conformational changes and fusion activity of vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein: [125I]iodonaphthyl azide photolabeling studies in biological membranes.

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Section of Membrane Structure and Function, Laboratory of Experimental and Computational Biology, Division of Basic Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Frederick, Maryland 21702-1201, USA.


The interaction of VSV glycoprotein (VSV G) with biological membranes was studied by photosensitized labeling. The method is based on photosensitized activation by the fluorescent lipid analog 3,3'-dioctadecyloxacarbocyanine (DiO) of a hydrophobic probe, [125I]iodonaphthyl azide (125INA), that rapidly partitions into the membrane bilayer of virus and cells. 125INA labeling of proteins and lipids can be confined to the site of chromophore localization by photosensitized labeling. Photoactivation using visible light of target membrane labeled with DiO and 125INA, to which unlabeled virions are bound, results in exclusive labeling of envelope glycoproteins inserted into the target membrane [Pak et al. (1994) J. Biol. Chem. 269, 14614]. In this study, we labeled lipid symmetric erythrocyte ghosts with 125INA and DiO. Photosensitized activation of VSV prebound to labeled ghosts with visible light resulted in VSV G labeling under fusogenic conditions. Photoactivation of 125INA by UV light, which is nonspecific, produced labeled VSV G at both acidic and neutral pH. Photosensitized labeling of VSV G by DiO-125INA-ghosts was also observed at pH 5.5, 4 degrees C, in the absence of mixing between viral and cellular lipids, suggesting insertion of the ectodomain of VSV G. Soluble VSV G lacking the transmembrane domain inserted into DiO-125INA-ghosts under the same conditions as intact VSV G. DiO inserted into intact VSV appeared to be a suitable fluorophore for continuous kinetic measurements of membrane fusion by fluorescence dequenching. Our photosensitized labeling results establish biochemical correlates for the three states of VSV G, which we had proposed based on kinetic data [Clague et al., Biochemistry 29, 1303]. In addition, we found that VSV G insertion into the target membrane is reversible, suggesting a "velcro"-like attachment of the fusogenic domain with the target membrane.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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