The identity of the measles virus receptor has been controversial. Several years ago CD46 was identified as a cellular receptor for the Edmonston strain of measles virus, but most clinical isolates of measles virus, which are most efficiently isolated in the marmoset B cell line B95a, cannot grow in many CD46+ cell lines. Although some researchers attributed it to post-entry block in viral replication, others believed that there is a receptor other than CD46 for wild-type measles viruses. A new study showed that human signalling lymphocytic activation molecule (SLAM; also known as CDw150) is a cellular receptor for measles virus, including the Edmonston strain. SLAM is expressed on lymphocytes and dendritic cells, and plays an important role in lymphocyte activation. The identification of SLAM as a measles virus receptor nicely explains the pathogenesis of measles virus infection.
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