Article

Ganglioside GT1b is a putative host cell receptor for the Merkel cell polyomavirus.

Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder, 347 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 4.65). 08/2009; 83(19):10275-9. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00949-09
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) was identified recently in human Merkel cell carcinomas, an aggressive neuroendocrine skin cancer. Here, we identify a putative host cell receptor for MCPyV. We found that recombinant MCPyV VP1 pentameric capsomeres both hemagglutinated sheep red blood cells and interacted with ganglioside GT1b in a sucrose gradient flotation assay. Structural differences between the analyzed gangliosides suggest that MCPyV VP1 likely interacts with sialic acids on both branches of the GT1b carbohydrate chain. Identification of a potential host cell receptor for MCPyV will aid in the elucidation of its entry mechanism and pathophysiology.

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