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Conformational Modifications of gB from Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Analyzed by Synthetic Peptides

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journal contribution
posted on 14.11.2013 by Marco Cantisani, Annarita Falanga, Novella Incoronato, Luigi Russo, Alfonso De Simone, Giancarlo Morelli, Rita Berisio, Massimiliano Galdiero, Stefania Galdiero
Entry of enveloped viruses requires fusion of viral and cellular membranes, driven by conformational changes of viral glycoproteins. The crystallized trimeric glycoprotein gB of herpes simplex virus has been described as a postfusion conformation, and several studies prove that like other class III fusion proteins, gB undergoes a pH-dependent switch between the pre- and postfusion conformations. Using several biophysical techniques, we show that peptides corresponding to the long helix of the gB postfusion structure interfere with the membrane fusion event, likely hampering the conformational rearrangements from the pre- to the postfusion structures. Those peptides represent good candidates for further design of peptidomimetic antagonists capable of blocking the fusion process.