Previous studies have demonstrated that syn mutant-infected cells fuse less well with nonsyncytial virus-infected cells than with uninfected cells, a phenomenon defined as function inhibition. The present study characterizes the kinetics as well as the requirements for expression of fusion inhibition. Initially, the capacity of sparse syn mutant-infected cells to fuse with uninfected surrounding cells was determined throughout infection. Of seven syn mutants examined, including representatives with alterations in two different viral genes that affect cell fusion, all showed an increase in fusion capacity up to 12 hr after infection and a decrease at later times. Fusion inhibition was examined in experiments employing sparse syn20-infected cells which had been incubated to a maximum fusion capacity; it was shown that surrounding cells infected with KOS, the parent of syn20, began to inhibit fusion by the syn20-infected cells at about 4 hr after infection, and that the maximum ability to inhibit fusion was attained at about 6 hr after infection. The metabolic blocking agents actinomycin D (RNA), cycloheximide (protein), 2-deoxyglucose, and tunicamycin (glycoslyation of glycoproteins) all showed the ability to inhibit the expression of fusion inhibition by KOS-infected cells if added shortly after infection. It is concluded that fusion inhibition is an active process that requires the synthesis of RNA, proteins, and glycoproteins.
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