Mechanisms of Viral Membrane Fusion and Its Inhibition

Annual Review of Biochemistry

Vol. 70:777-810 (Volume publication date July 2001)


AbstractViral envelope glycoproteins promote viral infection by mediating the fusion of the viral membrane with the host-cell membrane. Structural and biochemical studies of two viral glycoproteins, influenza hemagglutinin and HIV-1 envelope protein, have led to a common model for viral entry. The fusion mechanism involves a transient conformational species that can be targeted by therapeutic strategies. This mechanism of infectivity is likely utilized by a wide variety of enveloped viruses for which similar therapeutic interventions should be possible.