During viremia, viruses may be cleared from the bloodstream and taken up by specific organs. The uptake of virus from the bloodstream is dependent on the association of viral particles with endothelial cells that line the luminal surfaces of large and small blood vessels. To understand the nature of this interaction, we have studied the binding of reovirus serotypes 1 and 3 to these cells in vitro. Both serotypes of reovirus productively infected endothelial cells. By using [35S]methionine-biolabeled reovirus as a tracer ligand, we found that both viruses rapidly bind to endothelial cells and that equilibrium is reached after 4 h. The binding of the radiolabeled viruses was saturable and mediated by a homogeneous population of cellular receptors with very high affinity (Kd = 0.5 nM) for the virus ligands. Both serotypes bind to the same receptor, since the attachment of each radiolabeled serotype is inhibited by both the homologous and heterologous unlabeled virus. Exposure of labeled virus to monoclonal antibodies directed against the viral hemagglutinin (sigma 1 protein) inhibited binding, demonstrating that the attachment of reovirus to endothelial cells is mediated by the hemagglutinin for both serotypes. By using a novel ligand-blotting assay, the binding of both viruses to a 54,000-dalton protein could be demonstrated. The binding of each radiolabeled serotype to this protein was inhibited by the homologous and heterologous unlabeled serotype. By using cell fractionation after homogenization, we demonstrated that this 54-kilodalton protein is a membrane protein, in agreement with its proposed role as a cell surface receptor for reovirus serotypes 1 and 3
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