Document Detail

Rapid fusion and syncytium formation of heterologous cells upon expression of the FGFRL1 receptor.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20851884     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The fusion of mammalian cells into syncytia is a developmental process that is tightly restricted to a limited subset of cells. Besides gamete and placental trophoblast fusion, only macrophages and myogenic stem cells fuse into multinucleated syncytia. In contrast to viral cell fusion, which is mediated by fusogenic glycoproteins that actively merge membranes, mammalian cell fusion is poorly understood at the molecular level. A variety of mammalian transmembrane proteins, among them many of the immunoglobulin superfamily, have been implicated in cell-cell fusion, but none has been shown to actively fuse cells in vitro. Here we report that the FGFRL1 receptor, which is up-regulated during the differentiation of myoblasts into myotubes, fuses cultured cells into large, multinucleated syncytia. We used luciferase and GFP-based reporter assays to confirm cytoplasmic mixing and to identify the fusion inducing domain of FGFRL1. These assays revealed that Ig-like domain III and the transmembrane domain are both necessary and sufficient to rapidly fuse CHO cells into multinucleated syncytia comprising several hundred nuclei. Moreover, FGFRL1 also fused HEK293 and HeLa cells with untransfected CHO cells. Our data show that FGFRL1 is the first mammalian protein that is capable of inducing syncytium formation of heterologous cells in vitro.
Florian Steinberg; Simon D Gerber; Thorsten Rieckmann; Beat Trueb
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-09-17
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of biological chemistry     Volume:  285     ISSN:  1083-351X     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Biol. Chem.     Publication Date:  2010 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-11-24     Completed Date:  2010-12-30     Revised Date:  2013-05-27    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985121R     Medline TA:  J Biol Chem     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  37704-15     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Clinical Research, University of Bern, 3010 Bern, Switzerland.
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MeSH Terms
CHO Cells
Cell Differentiation*
Cell Fusion
Gene Expression*
Giant Cells / cytology*,  metabolism
HEK293 Cells
HeLa Cells
Myoblasts / cytology,  metabolism
Protein Structure, Tertiary
Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 5 / chemistry,  genetics*,  metabolism*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/FGFRL1 protein, human; 0/Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 5

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