The ability of Mycoplasma fermentans (strain incognitus) to fuse with cultured lymphocytes was investigated and the fusion process was characterized. Fusion was measured using an assay to determine lipid mixing based on the dequenching of the fluorescent probe, octadecyl???nodamine (R18), that was incorporated into the mycoplasma cells. Fusion of M. fermentans was detected with both CD4+ (Molt 3) and CD4- (1:12-E1) cells. The amount of fusion induced was relatively low and ranged from 5-10% with either cell culture. When primary peripheral blood lymphocytes were used the fusion yield was somewhat higher, reaching 12% of the cell population. Similar findings ware obtained with fluorescent microscopy analysis suggesting that a predetermined, but unidentified subpopulation of cultured lymphocytes, were being fused. The rate of fusion was temperature dependent. Following a short lag period fusion at 37°C was virtually completed in 60 min. The lymphocytes remained intact throughout the fusion process, as determined by the Trypan blue staining procedure. Fusion was almost completely inhibited by anti-M. fermentans antisera and by pretreatment of M. fermentans cells with proteolytic enzymes, suggesting that a surfacc-exposed proteinaceous component is involved in the fusion process. © 1992.
Franzoso, G., Dimitrov, D. S., Blumenthal, R., Barile, M. F., & Rottem, S. (1992). Fusion of Mycoplasma fermentans strain incognitus with T-lymphocytes. FEBS Letters, 303(2–3), 251–254. https://doi.org/10.1016/0014-5793(92)80531-K