A mixture of HVJ (Sendai virus) spike proteins, the nontoxic fragment A of diphtheria toxin, lecithin, and cholesterol was solubilized in sucrose solution containing a nonionic neutral detergent. The liposomal vesicles which formed on removal of the detergent by dialysis were purified by gel filtration and centrifugation on a sucrose gradient. The resulting purified vesicles had hemagglutinating activity, hemolytic activity and, after solubilization, the enzymic activity of fragment A. The vesicles had no cell fusion activity. Electron microscopy showed that both the outside and inside of membranes of the vesicles were associated with the spikes. When the vesicles were freeze-fractured, no large aggregates of particles were seen on either face. Such fragment A-containing lipid vesicles (liposomes) with HVJ spikes bound to mamalian cell membrane and released their fragment A into the cytoplasm causing cell death. Neither fragment A-containing liposomes without spikes nor empty liposomes with spikes were toxic.

This content is only available as a PDF.