Virus receptors are key components of the early events involved in cell infection. A definition of a receptor that solely involves a function in virus attachment is overly simplistic. In addition to attachment, receptors also actively contribute to entry by initiating conformational changes in the virus that lead to uncoating and also provide mechanisms for internalization – which increasingly appear to involve signaling events that occur upon receptor binding – in which the virus may subvert a natural receptor cycling process. The identification of virus receptors contributes significantly to our understanding of cell, tissue, and host tropism, and helps explain aspects of virus pathogenesis. Many viruses exploit more than one cell surface molecule for attachment and entry, with distinct functions contributed by each of the proteins involved. Virus variation and evolution can lead to changes in receptor tropism in vivo, and may contribute to adaptation to physiologically irrelevant receptors upon in vitro cultivation. Using relevant examples these various aspects of receptor identification, definition and function are described in further detail
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.