CADM1 and CADM2 trigger neuropathogenic measles virus-mediated membrane fusion by acting in cis

Yuta Shirogane, Ryuichi Takemoto, Tateki Suzuki, Tomonori Kameda, Kinichi Nakashima, Takao Hashiguchi, Yusuke Yanagi

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Abstract

Measles virus (MeV), an enveloped RNA virus in the family Paramyxoviridae, is still an important cause of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide. MeV usually causes acute febrile illness with skin rash, but in rare cases persists in the brain, causing a progressive neurological disorder, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). The disease is fatal, and no effective therapy is currently available. Although transsynaptic cell-to-cell transmission is thought to account for MeV propagation in the brain, neurons do not express the known receptors for MeV. Recent studies have shown that hyperfusogenic changes in the MeV fusion (F) protein play a key role in MeV propagation in the brain. However, how such mutant viruses spread in neurons remains unexplained. Here, we show that cell adhesion molecule 1 (CADM1; also known as IGSF4A, Necl-2, and SynCAM1) and CADM2 (also known as IGSF4D, Necl-3, SynCAM2) are host factors that enable MeV to cause membrane fusion in cells lacking the known receptors and to spread between neurons. During enveloped virus entry, a cellular receptor generally interacts in trans with the attachment protein on the envelope. However, CADM1 and CADM2 interact in cis with the MeV attachment protein on the same cell membrane, causing the fusion protein triggering and membrane fusion. Knockdown of CADM1 and CADM2 inhibits syncytium formation and virus transmission between neurons that are both mediated by hyperfusogenic F proteins. Thus, our results unravel the molecular mechanism (receptor-mimicking cis-acting fusion triggering) by which MeV spreads transsynaptically between neurons, thereby causing SSPE. IMPORTANCE Measles virus (MeV), an enveloped RNA virus, is the causative agent of measles, which is still an important cause of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide. Persistent MeV infection in the brain causes a fatal progressive neurological disorder, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), several years after acute infection. However, how MeV spreads in neurons, which are mainly affected in SSPE, remains largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that cell adhesion molecule 1 (CADM1) and CADM2 are host factors enabling MeV spread between neurons. During enveloped virus entry, a cellular receptor generally interacts in trans with the attachment protein on the viral membrane (envelope). Remarkably, CADM1 and CADM2 interact in cis with the MeV attachment protein on the same membrane, triggering the fusion protein and causing membrane fusion, as viral receptors usually do in trans. Careful screening may lead to more examples of such “receptor-mimicking cis-acting fusion triggering” in other viruses.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00528
JournalJournal of virology
Volume95
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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