Role of the Na+,K+ Pump in Herpes Simplex Type 1-Induced Cell Fusion: Melittin Causes Specific Reversion of Syncytial Mutants with the Syn1 Mutation to Syn+ (Wild-Type) Phenotype

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To evaluate the importance of the Na+,K+ pump and ionic gradients in virus-induced cell fusion, we investigated the effects of melittin, a 26 amino acid bioactive peptide found in honey bee venom, on cell fusion caused by HSV-1 syncytial mutants. Melittin inhibited fusion of Vero cells caused by HSV-1 mutant viruses mP(MP), KOS (syn20) and KOS (FFV3) containing the syncytial mutation syn1 in glycoprotein K. However, it did not affect cell fusion caused by mutants HFEM(tsB5) or KOS amb 1511-7 with mutations in glycoprotein B. Melittin caused specific reversion of syn1 mutant virus plaques to syn+ (wild-type) plaque morphology, and inhibited virus adsorption and penetration. It also inhibited the Na+,K+ pump activity, and the binding of 3H-ouabain to the Na+,K+ pump of infected Vero cells. The Na+,K+ pump activity of infected Vero cells in comparison to mock-infected cells was significantly decreased. Ouabain, a specific inhibitor of the Na+,K+ pump, inhibited fusion of Vero cells caused by all syncytial virus strains. © 1993 Academic Press. All rights reserved.

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