Previously it was shown that NH4Cl inhibits fusion caused by syncytia-inducing strains derived from the KOS strain of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). In the present study it is shown that the same effect extends to other syncytia-promoting strains, tsB5 and MP. Incubation in the presence of NH4Cl specifically prevented the accumulation of mature viral glycoproteins which were replaced with glycoprotein species of increased mobilities on sodium dodecyl sulfate-gels. These NH4Cl-inhibited glycoproteins in MP-infected cells were transported to the cell surface in significant quantities and were able to promote cell fusion during continued incubation in the absence of NH4Cl and protein synthesis. We conclude that NH4Cl inhibits cell fusion by direct interactions with cell-surface molecules.
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