Cholesterol sulfate inhibits the fusion of Sendai virus to biological and model membranes.
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Cholesterol sulfate is a component of several biological membranes. In erythrocytes, cholesterol sulfate inhibits hypotonic hemolysis, while in sperm, it can decrease fertilization efficiency. We have found cholesterol sulfate to be a potent inhibitor of Sendai virus fusion to both human erythrocyte and liposomal membranes. Cholesterol sulfate also raises the bilayer to hexagonal phase transition temperature of dielaidoyl phosphatidylethanolamine as demonstrated by differential scanning calorimetry and 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry. Although hexagonal phase structures are not readily found in biological membranes, there is a correlation between the effects of membrane additives on bilayer/non-bilayer equilibria and membrane stabilization. It is proposed that the ability of cholesterol sulfate to alter the physical properties of membranes contributes to its stabilization of biological membranes and the inhibition of membrane fusion.
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