1. Exploring the Mechanism of Viral Peptide-Induced Membrane Fusion
Gourab Prasad Pattnaik, Geetanjali Meher, Hirak Chakraborty Adv Exp Med Biol. 2018;1112:69-78. doi: 10.1007/978-981-13-3065-0_6.
Membrane fusion is essential in several cellular processes in the existence of eukaryotic cells such as cellular trafficking, compartmentalization, intercellular communication, sexual reproduction, cell division, and endo- and exocytosis. Membrane fusion proceeds in model membranes as well as biological membranes through the rearrangement of lipids. The stalk hypothesis provides a picture of the general nature of lipid rearrangement based on mechanical properties and phase behavior of water-lipid mesomorphic systems. In spite of extensive research on exploring the mechanism of membrane fusion, a clear molecular understanding of intermediate and pore formation is lacking. In addition, the mechanism by which proteins and peptides reduce the activation energy for stalk and pore formation is not yet clear though there are several propositions on how they catalyze membrane fusion. In this review, we have discussed about various putative functions of fusion peptides by which they reduce activation barrier and thus promote membrane fusion. A careful analysis of the discussed effects of fusion peptides on membranes might open up new possibilities for better understanding of the membrane fusion mechanism.
2. Overview of tag protein fusions: from molecular and biochemical fundamentals to commercial systems
K Terpe Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2003 Jan;60(5):523-33. doi: 10.1007/s00253-002-1158-6. Epub 2002 Nov 7.
In response to the rapidly growing field of proteomics, the use of recombinant proteins has increased greatly in recent years. Recombinant hybrids containing a polypeptide fusion partner, termed affinity tag, to facilitate the purification of the target polypeptides are widely used. Many different proteins, domains, or peptides can be fused with the target protein. The advantages of using fusion proteins to facilitate purification and detection of recombinant proteins are well-recognized. Nevertheless, it is difficult to choose the right purification system for a specific protein of interest. This review gives an overview of the most frequently used and interesting systems: Arg-tag, calmodulin-binding peptide, cellulose-binding domain, DsbA, c-myc-tag, glutathione S-transferase, FLAG-tag, HAT-tag, His-tag, maltose-binding protein, NusA, S-tag, SBP-tag, Strep-tag, and thioredoxin.
3. Membrane Composition Modulates Fusion by Altering Membrane Properties and Fusion Peptide Structure
Geetanjali Meher, Hirak Chakraborty J Membr Biol. 2019 Oct;252(4-5):261-272. doi: 10.1007/s00232-019-00064-7. Epub 2019 Apr 22.
Membrane fusion, one of the most essential processes in the life of eukaryotes, occurs when two separate lipid bilayers merge into a continuous bilayer and internal contents of two separated membranes mingle. There is a certain class of proteins that assist the binding of the viral envelope to the target host cell and catalyzing fusion. All class I viral fusion proteins contain a highly conserved 20-25 amino-acid amphipathic peptide at the N-terminus, which is essential for fusion activity and is termed as the 'fusion peptide'. It has been shown that insertion of fusion peptides into the host membrane and the perturbation in the membrane generated thereby is crucial for membrane fusion. Significant efforts have been given in the last couple of decades to understand the lipid-dependence of structure and function of the fusion peptide in membranes to understand the role of lipid compositions in membrane fusion. In addition, the lipid compositions further change the membrane physical properties and alter the mechanism and extent of membrane fusion. Therefore, lipid compositions modulate membrane fusion by changing membrane physical properties and altering structure of the fusion peptide.