Rho GTPase activity modulates paramyxovirus fusion protein-mediated cell-cell fusion

Virology. 2006 Jul 5;350(2):323-34. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2006.01.033. Epub 2006 Feb 28.


The paramyxovirus fusion protein (F) promotes fusion of the viral envelope with the plasma membrane of target cells as well as cell-cell fusion. The plasma membrane is closely associated with the actin cytoskeleton, but the role of actin dynamics in paramyxovirus F-mediated membrane fusion is unclear. We examined cell-cell fusion promoted by two different paramyxovirus F proteins in three cell types in the presence of constitutively active Rho family GTPases, major cellular coordinators of actin dynamics. Reporter gene and syncytia assays demonstrated that expression of either Rac1(V12) or Cdc42(V12) could increase cell-cell fusion promoted by the Hendra or SV5 glycoproteins, though the effect was dependent on the cell type expressing the viral glycoproteins. In contrast, RhoA(L63) decreased cell-cell fusion promoted by Hendra glycoproteins but had little affect on SV5 F-mediated fusion. Also, data suggested that GTPase activation in the viral glycoprotein-containing cell was primarily responsible for changes in fusion. Additionally, we found that activated Cdc42 promoted nuclear rearrangement in syncytia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Fusion
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Gene Fusion
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Paramyxoviridae / genetics
  • Paramyxoviridae / physiology*
  • Plasmids
  • Vero Cells
  • Viral Fusion Proteins / physiology*
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • Viral Fusion Proteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins