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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology