The vaccine or Vero cell-adapted strains of measles virus (MV) have been reported to use CD46 as a cell entry receptor, while lymphotropic MVs preferentially use the signalling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM or CD150). In contrast to the virus obtained from patients with acute measles, little is known about the receptor that is used by defective variants of MV isolated from patients with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). The receptor-binding properties of SSPE strains of MV were analysed using vesicular stomatitis virus pseudotypes expressing the envelope glycoproteins of SSPE strains of MV. Such pseudotype viruses could use SLAM but not CD46 for entry. The pseudotype viruses with SSPE envelope glycoproteins could enter Vero cells, which do not express SLAM. In addition, their entry was not blocked by the monoclonal antibody to CD46, pointing to another entry receptor for SSPE strains on Vero cells. Furthermore, the unknown receptor(s), distinct from SLAM and CD46, may be present on cell lines derived from lymphoid and neural cells. Biochemical characterization of the receptor present on Vero cells and SK-N-SH neuroblastoma cells was consistent with a glycoprotein. Identification of additional entry receptors for MV will provide new insights into the mechanism of spread of MV in the central nervous system and possible reasons for differences between MVs isolated from patients with acute measles and SSPE.
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