Journal of virology

Minimal features of efficient incorporation of the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase protein into sendai virus particles.

PMID 24155372


Two transmembrane glycoproteins form spikes on the surface of Sendai virus, a member of the Respirovirus genus of the Paramyxovirinae subfamily of the Paramyxoviridae family: the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) and the fusion (F) proteins. HN, in contrast to F, is dispensable for viral particle production, as normal amounts of particles can be produced with highly reduced levels of HN. This HN reduction can result from mutation of an SYWST motif in its cytoplasmic tail to AFYKD. HNAFYKD accumulates at the infected cell surface but does not get incorporated into particles. In this work, we derived experimental tools to rescue HNAFYKD incorporation. We found that coexpression of a truncated HN harboring the wild-type cytoplasmic tail, the transmembrane domain, and at most 80 amino acids of the ectodomain was sufficient to complement defective HNAFYKD incorporation into particles. This relied on formation of disulfide-bound heterodimers carried out by the two cysteines present in the HN 80-amino-acid (aa) ectodomain. Finally, the replacement of the measles virus H cytoplasmic and transmembrane domains with the corresponding HN domains promoted measles virus H incorporation in Sendai virus particles.