Reconstitution and fusogenic properties of Sendai virus envelopes

Marco C. Harmsen*, Jan Wilschut, Gerrit Scherphof, Caesar Hulstaert, Dick Hoekstra

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    Sendai virus membranes were reconstituted by detergent dialysis, using the non‐ionic detergents Triton X‐100 and octyl glucoside. Membrane reassembly was determined by measuring the surface‐density‐dependent efficiency of resonance energy transfer between two fluorescent phospholipid analogues, which were co‐reconstituted with the viral envelopes. The functional incorporation of the viral proteins was established by monitoring the ability of the reconstitution products to fuse with erythrocyte membranes, utilizing assays based on either resonance energy transfer or on relief of fluorescence selfquenching. The persistent adherence of residual Triton X‐100 with the reconstituted membrane was revealed by an artificial detergent‐effect on the resonance energy transfer efficiency and the occurrence of hemolysis of human erythrocytes under conditions where fusion does not occur. Properly reconstituted Sendai virus envelopes were obtained with octyl glucoside. The fusion activity of the viral envelopes was dependent on the initial concentration of octyl glucoside used to disrupt the virus and the rate of detergent removal. Rapid removal of detergent by dialysis against large volumes of dialysis buffer (ratio 1:850) or by gel filtration produced reconstituted membranes capable of inducing hemagglutination but significant fusion activity was not detected. By decreasing the volume ratio of dialysate versus dialysis buffer to 1:250 or 1:25, fusogenic viral envelopes were obtained. The initial fusion kinetics of the reconstituted viral membrane and the parent virus were different in that both the onset and the initial rate of fusion of the reconstituted membranes were faster, whereas the extents to which both particles eventually fused with the target membrane were similar. The differences in the initial fusion kinetics lead us to suggest that the details of the fusion mechanism between Sendai virus and the target membrane involve factors other than the mere presence of glycoproteins F and HN in the viral bilayer.

    Finally, the results also indicate that determination of the viral fusion activity in a direct manner, rather than by an indirect assay, such as hemolysis, is imperative for a proper evaluation of the functional properties retained upon viral reconstitution.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)591-599
    Number of pages9
    JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1985

    Cite this