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J Virol. 2007 Apr;81(7):3437-46. Epub 2007 Jan 17.

Immunoglobulin A (IgA) is a natural ligand of hepatitis A virus cellular receptor 1 (HAVCR1), and the association of IgA with HAVCR1 enhances virus-receptor interactions.

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  • 1Laboratory of Hepatitis and Related Emerging Agents, CBER, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The hepatitis A virus cellular receptor 1 (HAVCR1/TIM1), a member of the T-cell immunoglobulin mucin (TIM) family, is an important atopy susceptibility gene in humans. The exact natural function of HAVCR1/TIM1 and the inverse association between HAV infection and prevention of atopy are not well understood. To identify natural ligands of human HAVCR1/TIM1, we used an expression cloning strategy based on the binding of dog cells transfected with a human lymph node cDNA library to a HAVCR1/TIM1 Fc fusion protein. The transfected cells that bound to the human HAVCR1/TIM1 Fc contained cDNA of human immunoglobulin alpha 1 heavy (Igalpha1) and lambda light (Iglambda) chain and secreted human IgA1lambda antibody that bound to the cell surface. Cotransfection of the isolated Igalpha1 and Iglambda cDNAs to naïve dog cells resulted in the secretion of IgA1lambda that bound to HAVCR1/TIM1 Fc but not to a poliovirus receptor Fc fusion protein in a capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The interaction of HAVCR1/TIM1 with IgA was inhibited by monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against Igalpha1 and Iglambda, excess IgA1lambda, or anti-HAVCR1/TIM1 MAb. IgA did not inhibit HAV infection of African green monkey cells, suggesting that the IgA and the virus binding sites are in different epitopes on HAVCR1/TIM1. IgA enhanced significantly the neutralization of HAV by HAVCR1/TIM1 Fc. Our results indicate that IgA1lambda is a specific ligand of HAVCR1/TIM1 and that their association has a synergistic effect in virus-receptor interactions.

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