Cell–cell fusogens

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Cell–cell fusion
Symbol EFF-AFF
Pfam PF14884

Cell–cell fusogens are glycoproteins that facilitate the fusion of cell to cell membranes. Cell-cell fusion is critical for the merging of gamete genomes and development of organs in multicelluar organisms. It drives cell membrane protrusions and fusogenic protein engagement.[1]


EFF-AFF are the identifiers of type 1 glycoproteins that make up cell-cell fusogens. They were first identified when EFF1 mutants were found to block cell fusion in all epidermal and vulval epithelia in the roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans.[2] EFF-AFF is a family of type I membrane glycoproteins that act as cell–cell fusogens, named from 'Anchor cell fusion failure'. However, fusion between the anchor-cell and the (uterine seam) utse syncytium that establishes a continuous uterine-vulval tube proceeds normally in eff-1 mutants and thus Aff1 was established as necessary for this and the fusion of heterologous cells inC. elegans.[3] The transmembrane forms of these proteins, like most viral fusogens, possess an N-terminal signal sequence followed by a long extracellular portion, a predicted transmembrane domain, and a short intracellular tail. A striking conservation in the position and number of all 16 cysteines in the extracellular portion of EFF-AFF proteins from different nematode species suggests that these proteins are folded in a similar 3D structure that is essential for their fusogenic activity.[4] C. elegans AFF-1 and EFF-1 proteins are essential for developmental cell-to-cell fusion and can merge insect cells. Thus FFs comprise an ancient family of cellular fusogens that can promote fusion when expressed on a viral particle.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shilagardi, K; Li, S; Luo, F; Marikar, F; Duan, R; Jin, P; Kim, JH; Murnen, K; Chen, EH (2013). "Actin-propelled invasive membrane protrusions promote fusogenic protein engagement during cell-cell fusion". Science. 340 (6130): 359–63. doi:10.1126/science.1234781. 
  2. ^ Mohler WA, Shemer G, del Campo JJ, Valansi C, Opoku-Serebuoh E, Scranton V, Assaf N, White JG, Podbilewicz B (March 2002). "The type I membrane protein EFF-1 is essential for developmental cell fusion". Developmental Cell. 2 (3): 355–62. doi:10.1016/S1534-5807(02)00129-6. PMID 11879640. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  3. ^ Sapir A, Choi J, Leikina E, Avinoam O, Valansi C, Chernomordik LV, Newman AP, Podbilewicz B (May 2007). "AFF-1, a FOS-1-regulated fusogen, mediates fusion of the anchor cell in C. elegans". Developmental Cell. 12 (5): 683–98. doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2007.03.003. PMC 1975806free to read. PMID 17488621. 
  4. ^ Sapir A, Avinoam O, Podbilewicz B, Chernomordik LV (January 2008). "Viral and developmental cell fusion mechanisms: conservation and divergence". Developmental Cell. 14 (1): 11–21. doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2007.12.008. PMC 3549671free to read. PMID 18194649. 
  5. ^ Avinoam O, Fridman K, Valansi C, Abutbul I, Zeev-Ben-Mordehai T, Maurer UE, Sapir A, Danino D, Grünewald K, White JM, Podbilewicz B (April 2011). "Conserved eukaryotic fusogens can fuse viral envelopes to cells". Science. 332 (6029): 589–92. doi:10.1126/science.1202333. PMC 3084904free to read. PMID 21436398. 

This article incorporates text from the public domain Pfam and InterPro {{{1}}}

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