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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The murine coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus strain A59 from persistently infected murine cells exhibits an extended host range.

In murine 17 Cl 1 cells persistently infected with murine coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus strain A59 (MHV-A59), expression of the virus receptor glycoprotein MHVR was markedly reduced (S. G. Sawicki, J. H. Lu, and K. V. Holmes, J. Virol. 69:5535-5543, 1995). Virus isolated from passage 600 of the persistently infected cells made smaller plaques on 17 Cl 1 cells than did MHV-A59. Unlike the parental MHV-A59, this variant virus also infected the BHK-21 (BHK) line of hamster cells. Virus plaque purified on BHK cells (MHV/BHK) grew more slowly in murine cells than did MHV-A59, and the rate of viral RNA synthesis was lower and the development of the viral nucleocapsid (N) protein was slower than those of MHV-A59. MHV/BHK was 100-fold more resistant to neutralization with the purified soluble recombinant MHV receptor glycoprotein (sMHVR) than was MHV-A59. Pretreatment of 17 Cl 1 cells with anti-MHVR monoclonal antibody CC1 protected the cells from infection with MHV-A59 but only partially protected them from infection with MHV/BHK. Thus, although MHV/BHK could still utilize MHVR as a receptor, its interactions with the receptor were significantly different from those of MHV-A59. To determine whether a hemagglutinin esterase (HE) glycoprotein that could bind the virions to 9-O-acetylated neuraminic acid moieties on the cell surface was expressed by MHV/BHK, an in situ esterase assay was used. No expression of HE activity was detected in 17 Cl 1 cells infected with MHV/BHK, suggesting that this virus, like MHV-A59, bound to cell membranes via its S glycoprotein. MHV/BHK was able to infect cell lines from many mammalian species, including murine (17 Cl 1), hamster (BHK), feline (Fcwf), bovine (MDBK), rat (RIE), monkey (Vero), and human (L132 and HeLa) cell lines. MHV/BHK could not infect dog kidney (MDCK I) or swine testis (ST) cell lines. Thus, in persistently infected murine cell lines that express very low levels of virus receptor MHVR and which also have and may express alternative virus receptors of lesser efficiency, there is a strong selective advantage for virus with altered interactions with receptor (D. S. Chen, M. Asanaka, F. S. Chen, J. E. Shively, and M. M. C. Lai, J. Virol. 71:1688-1691, 1997; D. S. Chen, M. Asanaka, K. Yokomori, F.-I. Wang, S. B. Hwang, H.-P. Li, and M. M. C. Lai, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 92:12095-12099, 1995; P. Nedellec, G. S. Dveksler, E. Daniels, C. Turbide, B. Chow, A. A. Basile, K. V. Holmes, and N. Beauchemin, J. Virol. 68:4525-4537, 1994). Possibly, in coronavirus-infected animals, replication of the virus in tissues that express low levels of receptor might also select viruses with altered receptor recognition and extended host range.[1]


  1. The murine coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus strain A59 from persistently infected murine cells exhibits an extended host range. Schickli, J.H., Zelus, B.D., Wentworth, D.E., Sawicki, S.G., Holmes, K.V. J. Virol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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