Viral and Developmental Cell Fusion Mechanisms: Conservation and Divergence

Amir Sapir, Ori Avinoam, Benjamin Podbilewicz, Leonid V. Chernomordik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Membrane fusion is a fundamental requirement in numerous developmental, physiological, and pathological processes in eukaryotes. So far, only a limited number of viral and cellular fusogens, proteins that fuse membranes, have been isolated and characterized. Despite the diversity in structures and functions of known fusogens, some common principles of action apply to all fusion reactions. These can serve as guidelines in the search for new fusogens, and may allow the formulation of a cross-species, unified theory to explain divergent and convergent evolutionary principles of membrane fusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Michael Kozlov, Evgenia Leikina, Kamran Melikov, Meital Oren-Suissa, Eyal D. Schejter, Ben-Zion Shilo, three anonymous reviewers for critically reading the manuscript, and William A. Mohler for sharing unpublished results. Research in our laboratories was supported by grants from the Israel Science Foundation (B.P.) and by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health (L.V.C.).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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