Under selective pressure from host immunity, viruses have retained genes encoding immunoevasins, molecules interfering with host viral recognition and clearance. Due to their binding specificities, immunoevasins can be exploited as affinity labels to identify host-encoded molecules of previously unsuspected importance in defense against the relevant class of virus. We previously described an orthopoxvirus MHC class I-like protein (OMCP) that binds with high affinity to the activating receptor NKG2D on NK and T cell subsets, implicating NKG2D in antiorthopoxvirus immunity. In this study, we report that OMCP also binds in an NKG2D-independent manner to B cells and monocytes/macrophages. We identify murine FcR-like 5 (FCRL5), an orphan immunoregulatory protein highly expressed by innate B lymphocytes, as a specific receptor for OMCP. The three N-terminal Ig domains of FCRL5 are required for OMCP binding. The targeting of FCRL5 by an orthopoxvirus immunoevasin strongly implicates it in contributing to host defense against zoonotic orthopoxviruses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-32
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010


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