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Curr Opin Virol. 2015 Dec;15:90-6. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2015.08.012. Epub 2015 Sep 10.

Expanding diversity of glycan receptor usage by rotaviruses.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Melbourne at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, 792 Elizabeth St., Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia. Electronic address:


Rotaviruses are major etiologic agents of severe gastroenteritis in human and animals, infecting the mature intestinal epithelium. Their attachment to host cell glycans is mediated through the virion spike protein. This is considered to be crucial for successful host cell invasion by rotaviruses. Recent studies have greatly expanded our understanding of the diversity of glycans commonly recognized by rotaviruses, to include the ganglioside GM1a and histo-blood group antigens. Here, these new findings are integrated with advances in knowledge of spike protein structure, rotavirus entry mechanisms and innate intestinal immunity to provide an overview of the variety of rotavirus glycan receptors and their roles in cell penetration, host tropism and pathogenesis.

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