Discovery of a proteinaceous cellular receptor for a norovirus

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Science  26 Aug 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6302, pp. 933-936
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf1220

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New insights into norovirus entry

There's no escaping norovirus when you have it—the symptoms from this gastroenteritis-causing virus, though brief, are often debilitating. Preventing infections will rely on improving our understanding of how norovirus enters host cells. Orchard et al. show that the entry of murine norovirus (MNoV) into host cells requires a protein called CD300lf. In cell culture, mouse cells needed to express CD300lf in order for MNoV binding, entry, and replication to occur. Deleting the gene encoding CD300lf in mice protected them against MNoV infection. Human cells expressing CD300lf allowed MNoV to break the species barrier, a finding that may lead to new insights into the infectivity of this virus.

Science, this issue p. 933


Noroviruses (NoVs) are a leading cause of gastroenteritis globally, yet the host factors required for NoV infection are poorly understood. We identified host molecules that are essential for murine NoV (MNoV)–induced cell death, including CD300lf as a proteinaceous receptor. We found that CD300lf is essential for MNoV binding and replication in cell lines and primary cells. Additionally, Cd300lf−/− mice are resistant to MNoV infection. Expression of CD300lf in human cells breaks the species barrier that would otherwise restrict MNoV replication. The crystal structure of the CD300lf ectodomain reveals a potential ligand-binding cleft composed of residues that are critical for MNoV infection. Therefore, the presence of a proteinaceous receptor is the primary determinant of MNoV species tropism, whereas other components of cellular machinery required for NoV replication are conserved between humans and mice.

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