Hendra virus (HeV) is a zoonotic enveloped member of the family Paramyoxviridae. To successfully infect a host cell, HeV utilizes two surface glycoproteins: the attachment (G) protein to bind, and the trimeric fusion (F) protein to merge the viral envelope with the membrane of the host cell. The transmembrane (TM) region of HeV F has been shown to have roles in F protein stability and the overall trimeric association of F. Previously, alanine scanning mutagenesis has been performed on the C-terminal end of the protein, revealing the importance of β-branched residues in this region. Additionally, residues S490 and Y498 have been demonstrated to be important for F protein endocytosis, needed for the proteolytic processing of F required for fusion. To complete the analysis of the HeV F TM, we performed alanine scanning mutagenesis to explore the residues in the N-terminus of this region (residues 487–506). In addition to confirming the critical roles for S490 and Y498, we demonstrate that mutations at residues M491 and L492 alter F protein function, suggesting a role for these residues in the fusion process.

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Published in Viruses, v. 13, issue 12, 2353.

© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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This research was funded by NIH/NIAID grant number AI051517 to R.E.D.

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Data is available upon request from the corresponding author.