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Cell Microbiol. 2008 Apr;10(4):828-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2007.01113.x. Epub 2007 Dec 21.

Cell entry by human pathogenic arenaviruses.

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Viral Immunobiology Laboratory, Molecular and Integrative Neurosciences Department, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


The arenaviruses Lassa virus (LASV) in Africa and Machupo (MACV), Guanarito (GTOV) and Junin viruses (JUNV) in South America cause severe haemorrhagic fevers in humans with fatality rates of 15-35%. The present review focuses on the first steps of infection with human pathogenic arenaviruses, the interaction with their cellular receptor molecules and subsequent entry into the host cell. While similarities exist in genomic organization, structure and clinical disease caused by pathogenic Old World and New World arenaviruses these pathogens use different primary receptors. The Old World arenaviruses employ alpha-dystroglycan, a cellular receptor for proteins of the extracellular matrix, and the human pathogenic New World arenaviruses use the cellular cargo receptor transferrin receptor 1. While the New World arenavirus JUNV enters cells via clathrin-dependent endocytosis, evidence occurred for clathrin-independent entry of the prototypic Old World arenavirus lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. Upon internalization, arenaviruses are delivered to the endosome, where pH-dependent membrane fusion is mediated by the envelope glycoprotein (GP). While arenavirus GPs share characteristics with class I fusion GPs of other enveloped viruses, unusual mechanistic features of GP-mediated membrane fusion have recently been discovered for arenaviruses with important implications for viral entry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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