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Nat Med. 2011 May;17(5):627-32. doi: 10.1038/nm.2358. Epub 2011 Apr 10.

Molecular modeling, organ culture and reverse genetics for a newly identified human rhinovirus C.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.


A recently recognized human rhinovirus species C (HRV-C) is associated with up to half of HRV infections in young children. Here we propagated two HRV-C isolates ex vivo in organ culture of nasal epithelial cells, sequenced a new C15 isolate and developed the first, to our knowledge, reverse genetics system for HRV-C. Using contact points for the known HRV receptors, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), inter- and intraspecies footprint analyses predicted a unique cell attachment site for HRV-Cs. Antibodies directed to binding sites for HRV-A and -B failed to inhibit HRV-C attachment, consistent with the alternative receptor footprint. HRV-A and HRV-B infected HeLa and WisL cells but HRV-C did not. However, HRV-C RNA synthesized in vitro and transfected into both cell types resulted in cytopathic effect and recovery of functional virus, indicating that the viral attachment mechanism is a primary distinguishing feature of HRV-C.

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