Silencing of endogenous envelope genes in human choriocarcinoma cells shows that envPb1 is involved in heterotypic cell fusions

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  • Lars Aagaard
  • Bolette Bjerregaard, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Institute of Animal and Veterinary Basic Sciences, Copenhagen University, Denmark
  • Anders L Kjeldbjerg, Denmark
  • Finn Skou Pedersen
  • Lars-Inge Larsson, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Institute of Animal and Veterinary Basic Sciences, Copenhagen University, Denmark
  • John J Rossi, Division of Molecular Biology, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, United States
Syncytin-1 and envPb1 are two conserved envelope genes in the human genome encoded by single loci from the HERV-W and -Pb families, respectively. To characterize the role of these envelope proteins in cell-cell fusion, we have developed lentiviral vectors expressing short hairpin RNAs for stable knockdown of syncytin-1 and envPb1. Analysis of heterotypic fusion activity between trophoblast-derived choriocarcinoma BeWo cells, in which syncytin-1 and envPb1 are specifically silenced, and endothelial cells demonstrate that both syncytin-1 and envPb1 are important to fusion. The ability to fuse cells makes syncytin-1 and envPb1 attractive candidate molecules in therapy against cancer. Our available vectors may help to eventually decipher roles for these genes in human health and/or disease.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of General Virology
Volume93
Issue8
Pages (from-to)1696-1699
Number of pages4
ISSN0022-1317
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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