Special Viewpoints

Evolution of Cell Recognition by Viruses

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Science  11 May 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5519, pp. 1102-1105
DOI: 10.1126/science.1058613

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Evolution of receptor specificity by viruses has several implications for viral pathogenesis, host range, virus-mediated gene targeting, and viral adaptation after organ transplantation and xenotransplantation, as well as for the emergence of viral diseases. Recent evidence suggests that minimal changes in viral genomes may trigger a shift in receptor usage for virus entry, even into the same cell type. A capacity to exploit alternative entry pathways may reflect the ancient evolutionary origins of viruses and a possible role as agents of horizontal gene transfers among cells.

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