The first milliseconds of the pore formed by a fusogenic viral envelope protein during membrane fusion

A. E. Spruce, A. Iwata, Wolfhard Almers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fibroblasts expressing the influenza virus hemagglutinin on their plasma membrane were patch clamped while they fused to erythrocytes. An increase in the fibroblast's membrane capacitance indicated the opening of the "fusion pore," the First aqueous connection between the fusing cells. We show here that the capacitance increase is preceded by a brief current transient, generated as the erythrocyte discharges its membrane potential through the nascent fusion pore. This signal allows one to calculate the pore conductance during the first milliseconds of its existence. The pore conductance jumps from 0 to ≈150 pS and then grows more gradually over the subsequent tens of milliseconds until growth is arrested. The initial conductance is similar to that of a large ion channel and suggests that the pore is initially only 1-2 nm wide. Hence, we are probably observing events caused by only a small number of hemagglutinin molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3623-3627
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume88
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Viral Envelope Proteins
Membrane Fusion
Hemagglutinins
Fibroblasts
Erythrocytes
Orthomyxoviridae
Ion Channels
Membrane Potentials
Cell Membrane
Membranes
Growth

Keywords

  • Fibroblast
  • Fusion pore
  • Influenza hemagglutinin
  • Membrane capacitance
  • Patch clamp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Genetics

Cite this

The first milliseconds of the pore formed by a fusogenic viral envelope protein during membrane fusion. / Spruce, A. E.; Iwata, A.; Almers, Wolfhard.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 88, No. 9, 1991, p. 3623-3627.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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