Lipid microdomains play a vital role in a number of biological processes. They are often a target of diseases and viruses. Viruses in particular utilize lipid microdomains to gain entry and fuse with the host-cell membrane. Measles virus (MV) a human pathogen, spread from cell to cell by inducing fusion of cellular membranes. This causes the formation of large multinucleated cells, syncytia. It has been previously reported that lipid microdomains are essential for measles virus infection/replication. In this study we used methyl beta cyclodextrin (MBCD), a cholesterol-sequestering agent to disrupt lipid microdomains. Through transfection of Vero h/SLAM cells, we found that Measles virus fusion was dependent on lipid microdomains integrity. Indeed, a dose dependent fusion inhibition was documented with increasing concentrations of MBCD resulting in reduced formation of syncytia.
- Importance of cholesterol-rich membrane microdomains in measles virus