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Immunity. 1998 Jan;8(1):21-30.

LIGHT, a new member of the TNF superfamily, and lymphotoxin alpha are ligands for herpesvirus entry mediator.

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Division of Molecular Immunology, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, San Diego, California 92121, USA.


Herpes simplex virus (HSV) 1 and 2 infect activated T lymphocytes by attachment of the HSV envelope glycoprotein D (gD) to the cellular herpesvirus entry mediator (HVEM), an orphan member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily. Here, we demonstrate that HVEM binds two cellular ligands, secreted lymphotoxin alpha (LTalpha) and LIGHT, a new member of the TNF superfamily. LIGHT is a 29 kDa type II transmembrane protein produced by activated T cells that also engages the receptor for the LTalphabeta heterotrimer but does not form complexes with either LTalpha or LTbeta. HSV1 gD inhibits the interaction of HVEM with LIGHT, and LIGHT and gD interfere with HVEM-dependent cell entry by HSV1. This characterizes herpesvirus gD as a membrane-bound viokine and establishes LIGHT-HVEM as integral components of the lymphotoxin cytokine-receptor system.

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