Signalling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM) acts as a cellular receptor for Measles virus (MV). The recombinant MV, based on a SLAM-using clinical isolate in which asparagine at position 481 of the haemagglutinin was replaced with tyrosine, was generated. Characterization of this recombinant virus revealed that the N481Y substitution in the haemagglutinin allowed it to utilize CD46 as an alternative receptor, but that its ability to use CD46 was rather low in CD46+ SLAMcell lines compared with that of the recombinant virus possessing the haemagglutinin of the Edmonston laboratory strain. Thus, an N481Y substitution alone may not be sufficient to make SLAM-using MVs use CD46 efficiently, suggesting that further substitutions in the haemagglutinin are required for them to grow efficiently in CD46+ cells like the Edmonston strain. This may be a reason why few CD46-using MVs are detected in vivo.
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