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Vet Res. 2012 Aug 21;43:61. doi: 10.1186/1297-9716-43-61.

The role of glycoprotein H of equine herpesviruses 1 and 4 (EHV-1 and EHV-4) in cellular host range and integrin binding.

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Institut für Virologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Philippstrasse 13, Haus 18, 10115, Berlin, Germany.


Equine herpesvirus type 1 and 4 (EHV-1 and EHV-4) glycoprotein H (gH) has been hypothesized to play a role in direct fusion of the virus envelope with cellular membranes. To investigate gH's role in infection, an EHV-1 mutant lacking gH was created and the gH genes were exchanged between EHV-1 and EHV-4 to determine if gH affects cellular entry and/or host range. In addition, a serine-aspartic acid-isoleucine (SDI) integrin-binding motif present in EHV-1 gH was mutated as it was presumed important in cell entry mediated by binding to α4β1 or α4β7 integrins. We here document that gH is essential for EHV-1 replication, plays a role in cell-to-cell spread and significantly affects plaque size and growth kinetics. Moreover, we could show that α4β1 and α4β7 integrins are not essential for viral entry of EHV-1 and EHV-4, and that viral entry is not affected in equine cells when the integrins are inaccessible.

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