Cell-fusion events induced by α-herpesviruses

Anthony E. Ambrosini, Lynn W. Enquist

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Enveloped viruses encode proteins that can induce cell fusion to allow spread of infection without exposure to immune surveillance. In this review, we discuss cell fusion events caused by neurotropic α-herpesviruses. Syncytia (large, multinucleated cells) are clinically indicative of α herpesvirus infections, and peripheral neuropathies are clinical hallmarks. We examine the viral and cellular factors required for cell fusion, as well as mutations which confer a more aggressive 'hypersyncytial' phenotype. Finally, we consider the causes of fusion events in infected neurons, and the implications for neuronal dysfunction and pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-200
Number of pages16
JournalFuture Virology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology


  • membrane fusion
  • neurons
  • syncytia
  • α herpesvirus


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