A Welcome Mat for Leprosy and Lassa Fever

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Science  11 Dec 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5396, pp. 1999-2000
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5396.1999

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a-dystroglycan and its sibling, b-dystroglycan, sit on the cell surface, bridging the membrane. Inside the cell, they connect with the cytoskeleton, and outside the cell they connect with components of the extracellular matrix. In her Perspective, Spear discusses new evidence in this issue ( Rambukkana et al. and Cao et al.) that these proteins are also the receptors for the agents of two very different diseases--leprosy and Lassa fever.