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J Virol. 2004 Apr;78(8):3897-905.

Membrane cofactor protein is a receptor for adenoviruses associated with epidemic keratoconjunctivitis.

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Department of Immunology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Subgroup D adenovirus (Ad) types 8, 19, and 37 (Ad8, -19, and -37, respectively) are causative agents of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis and genital tract infections. Previous studies showed that Ad37 binds to a 50-kDa membrane glycoprotein expressed on human ocular (conjunctival) cells. To identify and characterize the role of the 50-kDa glycoprotein in Ad37 infection, we partially purified this molecule from solubilized Chang C conjunctival cell membranes by using lentil lectin chromatography and preparative sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Liquid chromatography coupled to nano-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry was subsequently used to identify four Ad37 receptor candidates: CD46, CD87, CD98, and CD147. Immunodepletion analyses demonstrated that the 50-kDa protein is identical to CD46 (also known as membrane cofactor protein). The Ad37, but not Ad5, fiber knob bound to the extracellular domain of CD46, demonstrating a direct interaction of an Ad37 capsid protein with CD46. An antibody specific for the N-terminal 19 amino acids of CD46 also blocked Ad37 infection of human cervical carcinoma and conjunctival cells, indicating a requirement for CD46 in infection. Finally, expression of a 50-kDa isoform of human CD46 in a CD46-null cell line increased cell binding by wild-type Ad37 and gene delivery by an Ad vector pseudotyped with the Ad37 fiber, but not by a vector bearing the Ad5 fiber. Together, these studies demonstrate that CD46 serves as an attachment receptor for Ad37 and shed further light on the cell entry pathway of subgroup D Ads.

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