Human norovirus is the leading cause of gastroenteritis worldwide, yet basic questions about its life cycle remain unanswered due to an historical lack of robust experimental systems. Recent studies on the closely related murine norovirus (MNV) have identified CD300LF as an indispensable entry factor for MNV. We compared the MNV susceptibilities of cells from different mouse strains and identified polymorphisms in murine CD300LF which are critical for its function as an MNV receptor. Bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) from I/LnJ mice were resistant to infection from multiple MNV strains which readily infect BMDMs from C57BL/6J mice. The resistance of I/LnJ BMDMs was specific to MNV, since the cells supported infection of other viruses comparably to C57BL/6J BMDMs. Transduction of I/LnJ BMDMs with C57BL/6J CD300LF made the cells permissible to MNV infection, suggesting that the cause of resistance lies in the entry step of MNV infection. In fact, we mapped this phenotype to a 4-amino-acid difference at the CC= loop of CD300LF; swapping of these amino acids between C57BL/6J and I/LnJ CD300LF proteins made the mutant C57BL/6J CD300LF functionally impaired and the corresponding mutant of I/LnJ CD300LF functional as an MNV entry factor. Surprisingly, expression of the I/LnJ CD300LF in other cell types made the cells infectible by MNV, even though the I/LnJ allele did not function as an MNV receptor in macrophage-like cells. Correspondingly, I/LnJ CD300LF bound MNV virions in permissive cells but not in nonpermissive cells. Collectively, our data suggest the existence of a cell type-specific modifier of MNV entry. IMPORTANCE MNV is a prevalent model system for studying human norovirus, which is the leading cause of gastroenteritis worldwide and thus a sizeable public health burden. Elucidating mechanisms underlying susceptibility of host cells to MNV infection can lead to insights on the roles that specific cell types play during norovirus pathogenesis. Here, we show that different alleles of the proteinaceous receptor for MNV, CD300LF, function in a cell type-dependent manner. In contrast to the C57BL/6J allele, which functions as an MNV entry factor in all tested cell types, including human cells, I/LnJ CD300LF does not function as an MNV entry factor in macrophage-like cells but does allow MNV entry in other cell types. Together, these observations indicate the existence of cell type-specific modifiers of CD300LFdependent MNV entry.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00837-20
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • CD300LF
  • Entry
  • I/LnJ
  • Norovirus
  • Polymorphism
  • Receptors


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