Measles virus (MV) is a member of the genus Morbillivirus in the family Paramyxoviridae. Clinical isolates of MV use signaling lymphocyte activating molecule (SLAM) as a cellular receptor. SLAM is mainly expressed on immune cells such as immature thymocytes, activated lymphocytes and mature dendritic cells. This distribution of SLAM can account for the lymphotropism of MV. On the other hand, laboratory strains of MV use CD46 as an alternative receptor, through amino acid change(s) in the receptor binding hemagglutinin protein. Recently, several reports imply the existence of the cellular receptor(s) other than SLAM and CD46. In this review, we discuss the receptor usage of MV and its adaptation to cultured cells.
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