Neutron diffraction studies of viral fusion peptides

J P Bradshaw, M J M Darkes, J Katsaras, R M Epand

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Membrane fusion plays a vital role in a large and diverse number of essential biological processes. Despite this fact, the precise molecular events that occur during fusion are still not known. We are currently engaged on a study of membrane fusion as mediated by viral fusion peptides. These peptides are the N-terminal regions of certain viral envelope proteins that mediate the process of fusion between the viral envelope and the membranes of the host cell during the infection process, As part of this study, we have carried out neutron diffraction measurements at the ILL, BeNSC and Chalk River, on a range of viral fusion peptides. The peptides, from simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), influenza A and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV), were incorporated into stacked phospholipid bilayers. Some of the peptides had been specifically deuterated at key amino acids. Lamellar diffraction data were collected and analysed to yield information on the peptide conformation, location and orientation relative to the bilayer. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-498
Number of pages4
JournalPhysica B: Condensed Matter
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000

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