Mutations in the putative dimer-dimer interfaces of the measles virus hemagglutinin head domain affect membrane fusion triggering

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Abstract

Measles virus (MV), an enveloped RNA virus belonging to the Paramyxoviridae family, enters the cell through membrane fusion mediated by two viral envelope proteins, an attachment protein hemagglutinin (H) and a fusion (F) protein. The crystal structure of the receptor-binding head domain of MV-H bound to its cellular receptor revealed that the MV-H head domain forms a tetrameric assembly (dimer of dimers), which occurs in two forms (forms I and II). In this study, we show that mutations in the putative dimer-dimer interface of the head domain in either form inhibit the ability of MV-H to support membrane fusion, without greatly affecting its cell surface expression, receptor binding, and interaction with the F protein. Notably, some anti-MV-H neutralizing monoclonal antibodies are directed to the region around the dimer-dimer interface in form I rather than receptor-binding sites. These observations suggest that the dimer-dimer interactions of the MV-H head domain, especially that in form I, contribute to triggering membrane fusion, and that conformational shift of head domain tetramers plays a role in the process. Furthermore, our results indicate that although the stalk and transmembrane regions may be mainly responsible for the tetramer formation of MV-H, the head domain alone can form tetramers, albeit at a low efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8085-8091
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume288
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 22 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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