Measles virus (MV) causes a productive infection in humans and certain simian hosts. Rodent cells such as Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) and murine cell lines normally resist MV infection. Human CD46, or membrane cofactor protein, a complement regulatory protein, recently has been reported as the cellular receptor for MV. Multiple isoforms of the CD46 protein exist; four of these isoforms are commonly expressed on human cells. Expression of each of the four isoforms in CHO cells followed by exposure to MV led to the appearance of viral proteins within the cells and on the cell surface as detected by immunofluorescence. Syncytium formation also was observed in the cultures. CHO cells expressing any of the four isoforms and exposed to MV formed infectious centers when plated on Vero cell monolayers, indicating that the cells can transmit virus to uninfected cells. The murine cell line MC57 expressing the BC1 isoform of CD46 also stained positively for MV antigens and was positive in the infectious center assay after exposure to MV. Treatment of CD46-expressing cells with antibody to human CD46 inhibited MV binding in a dose-dependent manner. These observations indicate that any of the four primary isoforms of CD46 are able to serve as a receptor for MV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2161-2165
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 1994


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