Desmoglein 2 is a receptor for adenovirus serotypes 3, 7, 11 and 14

Hongjie Wang, Zong Yi Li, Ying Liu, Jonas Persson, Ines Beyer, Thomas Möller, Dilara Koyuncu, Max R. Drescher, Robert Strauss, Xiao Bing Zhang, James K. Wahl, Nicole Urban, Charles Drescher, Akseli Hemminki, Pascal Fender, André Lieber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

311 Scopus citations


We have identified desmoglein-2 (DSG-2) as the primary high-affinity receptor used by adenoviruses Ad3, Ad7, Ad11 and Ad14. These serotypes represent key human pathogens causing respiratory and urinary tract infections. In epithelial cells, adenovirus binding of DSG-2 triggers events reminiscent of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, leading to transient opening of intercellular junctions. This opening improves access to receptors, for example, CD46 and Her2/neu, that are trapped in intercellular junctions. In addition to complete virions, dodecahedral particles (PtDds), formed by excess amounts of viral capsid proteins, penton base and fiber during viral replication, can trigger DSG-2-mediated opening of intercellular junctions as shown by studies with recombinant Ad3 PtDds. Our findings shed light on adenovirus biology and pathogenesis and may have implications for cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-104
Number of pages9
JournalNature Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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