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polybrene question

Chuckles chale at hsc.usc.edu
Fri Jan 27 13:32:17 EST 1995

zxy5 at po.CWRU.Edu (Zafer Yildirim) writes:

>We are using recombinant retroviruses for gene transfer to some
>mammalian cells. We include polybrene during the infection of 
>these cells with the viruses. Can somebody tell
>me how polybrene works to enhance infection?
>Thanks in advance.

The theory that I have heard is that polybrene coats membranes and thus shields
the negative charges on the surface.  This allows membranes to come together
more easily and facilitates viral fusion.  Unfortunately I don't have any referances
that support this, but you do see enhanced cell-cell fusion in the presence of
polybrene which gives some support to this idea.  Hope this helps a little.

					Charles Hale
					USC Department of Biochem.
					"No Pain, No Pain!!!"

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