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Arch Virol. 2001;146(2):197-208.

Adaptation of wild-type measles virus to CD46 receptor usage.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Vaccine strains of measles virus (MV) use CD46 as receptor and downregulate CD46 from the surface of infected cells. MVs isolated and passaged on B-lymphoid cells (wild-type MVs) seem to use another receptor and do not downregulate CD46. In the present study, we found that isolation of MV on human or marmoset B-lymphoid cells did not alter the MV haemagglutinin (H) protein relative to that in the patient. The wild-type isolates were adapted to the human epithelial HEp-2 cell line or the monkey fibroblast Vero cell line. All HEp-2 cell adapted viruses and 1 out of 4 Vero cell adapted viruses acquired the capacity to use CD46 as receptor, as measured by their ability to infect murine cells expressing human CD46. Adaptation to CD46 receptor usage was coupled to substitution of amino acid 481 of the MV H protein from asparagine to tyrosine but not to CD46 downregulation. The present study demonstrates that CD46 receptor usage can be induced by adaptation of wild-type MV to cells that do not express a wild-type receptor and suggests that a similar mechanism acted on the progenitor viruses of the present MV vaccine strains during their isolation and attenuation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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