Cultured mouse 3T3 cells treated with phosphatidylserine or phosphatidylserine/phosphatidylcholine (3: 7 mole ratio) liposomes containing ortho- and paramyxovirus envelope glycoproteins become susceptible to killing by virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes indicating that the liposome-derived glycoproteins have been inserted into the cellular plasma membrane. Cells incubated with liposomes of similar lipid composition containing viral antigens plus a dinitrophenylated lipid hapten were killed by both virus- and hapten-specific T lymphocytes indicating that both protein and lipid components are inserted into the plasma membrane. We consider that assimilation of liposome-derived antigens into the plasma membrane results from fusion of liposomes with the plasma membrane. Cells incubated with phosphatidylcholine liposomes containing lipid haptens and viral glycoproteins were not killed by cytotoxic lymphocytes indicating that liposomes of this composition do not fuse with the plasma membrane. Liposome-derived paramyxovirus glycoproteins inserted into the plasma membrane retain their functional activity as shown by their ability to induce cell fusion. These experiments demonstrate the feasibility of using liposomes as carriers for introducing integral membrane (glyco)proteins into the plasma membrane of cultured cells and establish a new approach for studying the role of individual (glyco)proteins in the expression of specific cell surface properties.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology