Human ICAM-1 is the cellular receptor for the major group of human rhinoviruses (HRVs). Previous studies have suggested that the N-terminal domain of ICAM-1 is critical for binding of the major group rhinoviruses. To further define the residues within domain 1 that are involved in virus binding, we constructed an extensive series of ICAM-1 cDNAs containing single and multiple amino acid residue substitutions. In each case, substitutions involved replacement of the human amino acids with those found in murine ICAM-1 to minimize conformational effects. To facilitate the mutagenesis process, a synthetic gene encompassing the first two domains of ICAM-1 was constructed which incorporated 27 additional restriction sites to allow mutagenesis by oligonucleotide replacement. Each of the new constructs was placed into a Rous sarcoma virus vector and expressed in primary chicken embryo fibroblast cells. Binding assays were performed with six major group HRVs, including one high-affinity binding mutant of HRV-14, and two monoclonal antibodies. Results indicated that different serotypes displayed a range of sensitivities to various amino acid substitutions. Amino acid residues of ICAM-1 showing the greatest effect on virus and antibody binding included Pro-28, Lys-29, Leu-30, Leu-37, Lys-40, Ser-67, and Pro-70
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