Receptor aggregation is believed to be an important step in the attachmentof membrane enveloped virus' to target cell membranes. A likely receptorfor Sendai virus is the ganglioside GD1a. In this work we have studied themembrane diffusion of the fluorescent ganglioside NBD-GD1a on the surfaceof CV-1 cells with standard photobleaching techniques. Using confocallaser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and Image Correlation Spectroscopy(ICS) NBD-GD1a is shown to exist in at least two populations: dispersedand aggregated. By quantifying the distribution of NBD-GD1a pre- andpost-incubation with Sendai virus it is shown that the virus inducesa dose-dependent clustering of NBD-GD1a. Image cross-correlationspectroscopy (ICCS) is used to further quantitatively characterizethis clustering by demonstrating that it occurs due to binding ofvirus to the dispersed population of NBD-GD1a.

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