Contributions of gD receptors and glycosaminoglycan sulfation to cell fusion mediated by herpes simplex virus 1

Tracy Terry-Allison, Rebecca I. Montgomery, Morgyn S. Warner, Robert J. Geraghty, Patricia G. Spear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Two cell surface proteins (nectin-1/HveC and nectin-2/HveB) shown previously to serve as receptors for the entry of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) wild-type and/or mutant strains were found to serve also as receptors for HSV-1-induced cell fusion. Transfection with genomic DNA from a syncytial HSV-1 strain encoding wild-type gD resulted in fusion of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells expressing nectin-1 but not of cells expressing nectin-2. In contrast, transfection with DNA from a related HSV-1 strain encoding the mutant Rid1 form of gD resulted in fusion of CHO cells expressing either receptor but not of control cells. These results are consistent with the ability of each receptor to mediate entry of viruses expressing wild-type or Rid1 gD and with results obtained previously with HVEM (HveA), a third HSV-1 entry receptor. Undersulfation of GAGs in receptor-expressing cell lines predictably reduced susceptibility to HSV-1 infection. In contrast, susceptibility to cell fusion mediated by HVEM or nectin-1 was not reduced. Undersulfation of GAGs partially inhibited cell fusion mediated by nectin-2. We conclude that HSV-1-induced cell fusion requires a gD-binding entry receptor, that ability of an HSV-1 strain to use HVEM, nectin-2 or nectin-1 for cell fusion depends on the allele of gD expressed and that GAGs may influence cell fusion, dependent on the gD-binding receptor used, but are less important for cell fusion mediated by HVEM, nectin-2 or nectin-1 than for viral entry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalVirus research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Nan Susmarski for excellent technical assistance. This work was supported by a grant from the NIH (R0l CA21776). T. Terry-Allison, R.I. Montgomery and R.J. Geraghaty were supported by National Research Service Awards F31 GM15056, F32 AI09022 and F32 AI09471, respectively.


  • Cell fusion
  • HSV-1
  • HVEM
  • Heparan sulfate
  • HveA
  • HveB
  • HveC
  • Nectin-1
  • Nectin-2
  • gD


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