Project #11691
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#11691 : Fusion proteins in mammals and yeasts
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Name of Applicant : Félix Rey
Date of application : 17-05-2018
Unit : Structural Virology
Location : Centre François Jacob (26) – 3ème étage – 03D
Phone : 01 45 68 85 63
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Project context and summary :

Membrane fusion is an essential process in all forms of life, and fusion proteins are responsible of catalysing this reaction by forcing the two membranes against each other by undergoing a fusogenic conformational change. Viral fusion proteins are the most well studied and are classified in three different groups: class-I, with a central trimeric alpha-helical coiled coil with the fusion peptide at the N-terminal end; class-II, which are folded as three beta-sheet rich domains with an internal fusion loop; and class-III, with a trimeric alpha-helical coiled coil with an internal fusion loop at the tip of a β-sheet rich domain. Despite their totally different structures, the proteins from the three classes use the same overall fusion mechanism. The syncytins, which are class-I fusion proteins captured from a retrovirus that integrated in the germ-line of a primitive mammal more than 25 millions years ago, are responsible for the development of the placenta. Recently, orthologs to the class-II viral fusion proteins have been found in eukaryotic organisms: the epithelial fusion factor (EFF) family in nematodes, responsible for skin formation, and HAP2-GCS1 proteins, responsible for gamete fusion for fertilization in green algae, higher plants, unicellular protozoa, cnidarians, hemichordates, and arthropods. The fact that HAP2 was identified in the main branches of the eukaryotic taxa with the exception fungi, suggest that they should also be present in these organisms. In particular, HAP2 was identified in some insects but not in all of them, and has not been detected in vertebrates. This project is aimed at the detection of amino acid sequences sequences compatible with class II fusion proteins among the membrane proteins present in vertebrates and yeast

Related team publications :
Fedry, J., Liu, Y., Pehau-Amaudet, G., Pei, J., Li, W., Tortorici, M. A., … Rey, F. A., Krey, T. (2017). The Ancient Gamete Fusogen HAP2 Is a Eukaryotic Class II Fusion Protein Article The Ancient Gamete Fusogen HAP2 Is a Eukaryotic Class II Fusion Protein. Cell, 168, 904–915.
Pérez-Vargas, J., Krey, T., Valansi, C., Avinoam, O., Haouz, A., Jamin, M., … Rey, F. A. (2014). Structural basis of eukaryotic cell-cell fusion. Cell, 157, 407–419.
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Project Type : Short
Status : In Progress

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