Cell infection by adenovirus serotypes 2 and 5 (Ad2/5) initiates with the attachment of Ad fiber to the coxsackievirus and Ad receptor (CAR) followed by alpha(v) integrin-mediated entry. We recently demonstrated that heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycans (HS GAGs) expressed on cell surfaces are involved in the binding and infection of Ad2/5 (M. C. Dechecchi, A. Tamanini, A. Bonizzato, and G. Cabrini, Virology 268:382-390, 2000). The role of HS GAGs was investigated using extracellular soluble domain 1 of CAR (sCAR-D1) and heparin as soluble receptor analogues of CAR and HS GAGs in A549 and recombinant CHO cell lines with differential levels of expression of the two receptors and cultured to various densities. Complete inhibition of binding and infection was obtained by preincubating Ad2/5 with both heparin (10 microg/ml) and sCAR-D1 (200 microg/ml) in A549 cells. Partial inhibition was observed when heparin and sCAR-D1 were preincubated separately with Ad. The level of heparin-sensitive [(3)H]Ad2/5 binding doubled in sparse A549 cells (50 to 70,000 cells/cm(2)) with respect to that of cells grown to confluence (200 to 300,000 cells/cm(2)), in parallel with increased expression of HS GAGs. [(3)H]Ad2 bound to sparse CAR-negative CHO cells expressing HS GAGs (CHO K1). No [(3)H]Ad2 binding was observed in CHO K1 cells upon competitive inhibition with heparin and in HS GAG-defective CHO A745, D677, and E606 clones. HS-sensitive Ad2 infection was obtained in CAR-negative sparse CHO K1 cells but not in CHO A745 cells, which were permissive to infection only upon transfection with CAR. These results demonstrate that HS GAGs are sufficient to mediate the initial binding of Ad2/5.
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