Viral fusion peptides: a tool set to disrupt and connect biological membranes.


The structure and function of viral fusion peptides are reviewed. The fusion peptides of influenza virus hemagglutinin and human immunodeficiency virus are used as paradigms. Fusion peptides associated with lipid bilayers are conformationally polymorphic. Current evidence suggests that the fusion-promoting state is the obliquely inserted alpha-helix. Fusion… (More)