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J Virol. 2006 Apr;80(8):4174-8.

Role of endosomal cathepsins in entry mediated by the Ebola virus glycoprotein.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Virginia, 1300 Jefferson Park Ave., Charlottesville, Virginia 22908-0734, USA.


Using chemical inhibitors and small interfering RNA (siRNA), we have confirmed roles for cathepsin B (CatB) and cathepsin L (CatL) in Ebola virus glycoprotein (GP)-mediated infection. Treatment of Ebola virus GP pseudovirions with CatB and CatL converts GP1 from a 130-kDa to a 19-kDa species. Virus with 19-kDa GP1 displays significantly enhanced infection and is largely resistant to the effects of the CatB inhibitor and siRNA, but it still requires a low-pH-dependent endosomal/lysosomal function. These and other results support a model in which CatB and CatL prime GP by generating a 19-kDa intermediate that can be acted upon by an as yet unidentified endosomal/lysosomal enzyme to trigger fusion.

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