A novel human endogenous retroviral protein inhibits cell-cell fusion.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

While common in viral infections and neoplasia, spontaneous cell-cell fusion, or syncytialization, is quite restricted in healthy tissues. Such fusion is essential to human placental development, where interactions between trophoblast-specific human endogenous retroviral (HERV) envelope proteins, called syncytins, and their widely-distributed cell surface receptors are centrally involved. We have identified the first host cell-encoded protein that inhibits cell fusion in mammals. Like the syncytins, this protein, called suppressyn, is HERV-derived, placenta-specific and well-conserved over simian evolution. In vitro, suppressyn binds to the syn1 receptor and inhibits syn1-, but not syn2-mediated trophoblast syncytialization. Suppressyn knock-down promotes cell-cell fusion in trophoblast cells and cell-associated and secreted suppressyn binds to the syn1 receptor, ASCT2. Identification of the first host cell-encoded inhibitor of mammalian cell fusion may encourage improved understanding of cell fusion mechanisms, of placental morphogenesis and of diseases resulting from abnormal cell fusion.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sugimoto, J; Sugimoto, M; Bernstein, H; Jinno, Y; Schust, D

Published Date

  • 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 3 /

Start / End Page

  • 1462 -

PubMed ID

  • 23492904

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3598002

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2045-2322

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/srep01462

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • England