Skip to main content
  • Oral presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Time-Resolved Imaging of Single Retrovirus-Cell Fusion

Membrane fusion induced by retroviral envelope glycoproteins (Env) has been studied by imaging early events during single virus entry. Viral particles were visualized by incorporating a membrane dye and by entrapping GFP within the virus interior. Lipid and content (GFP) transfer from viruses to cells was simultaneously monitored by confocal microscopy. Content mixing usually occurred after lipid transfer, suggesting that fusion proceeded through a hemifusion intermediate. Our data also revealed that small pores connecting the viral and cell membranes are the key intermediate of retrovirus fusion. These pores can persist for several minutes before they either irreversibly close, aborting virus entry, or fully enlarge, leading to nucleocapsid delivery and infection.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to G Melikyan.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Melikyan, G., Barnard, R., Abrahamyan, L. et al. Time-Resolved Imaging of Single Retrovirus-Cell Fusion. Retrovirology 2 (Suppl 1), S4 (2005).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: