Influenza virus hemagglutinins are surface proteins responsible for fusion of the viral and cellular membranes. Their capacity to mediate membrane fusion (fusogenic activity) is studied by various methods, including the syncytium formation and pseudovirus transduction methods. We constructed plasmids coding for genes of three H1 and one H5 hemagglutinins and compared their fusogenic activities. Hemagglutinin capacity to induce syncytium formation did not always correlate with the transduction activity of the respective pseudoviruses. Hemagglutinin H5 exhibited high fusogenic activity in studies by both methods, however, two of the studied H1 hemagglutinins induced the formation of syncytia, but did not mediate pseudovirus transduction. This could be due to different capsid sizes of influenza virus and vesicular stomatitis virus, which determines their different permeability through the fusion pore.
- cell fusion
- virus entry