Intracellular curvature-generating proteins in cell-to-cell fusion

Jean Philippe Richard, Evgenia Leikina, Ralf Langen, William Mike Henne, Margarita Popova, Tamas Balla, Harvey T. Mcmahon, Michael M. Kozlov, Leonid V. Chernomordik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cell-to-cell fusion plays an important role in normal physiology and in different pathological conditions. Early fusion stages mediated by specialized proteins and yielding fusion pores are followed by a pore expansion stage that is dependent on cell metabolism and yet unidentified machinery. Because of a similarity of membrane bending in the fusion pore rim and in highly curved intracellular membrane compartments, in the present study we explored whether changes in the activity of the proteins that generate these compartments affect cell fusion initiated by protein fusogens of influenza virus and baculovirus. We raised the intracellular concentration of curvature-generating proteins in cells by either expressing or microinjecting the ENTH (epsin N-terminal homology) domain of epsin or by expressing the GRAF1 (GTPase regulator associated with focal adhesion kinase 1) BAR (Bin/amphiphysin/Rvs) domain or the FCHo2 (FCH domain-only protein 2) F-BAR domain. Each of these treatments promoted syncytium formation. Cell fusion extents were also influenced by treatments targeting the function of another curvature-generating protein, dynamin. Cell-membrane-permeant inhibitors of dynamin GTPase blocked expansion of fusion pores and dominant-negative mutants of dynamin influenced the syncytium formation extents. We also report that syncytium formation is inhibited by reagents lowering the content and accessibility of PtdIns(4,5)P 2, an important regulator of intracellular membrane remodelling. Our findings indicate that fusion pore expansion at late stages of cell-to-cell fusion is mediated, directly or indirectly, by intracellular membrane-shaping proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-193
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Journal
Volume440
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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    Richard, J. P., Leikina, E., Langen, R., Henne, W. M., Popova, M., Balla, T., Mcmahon, H. T., Kozlov, M. M., & Chernomordik, L. V. (2011). Intracellular curvature-generating proteins in cell-to-cell fusion. Biochemical Journal, 440(2), 185-193. https://doi.org/10.1042/BJ20111243