Human cytomegalovirus virion protein complex required for epithelial and endothelial cell tropism

Dai Wang, Thomas Shenk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

418 Scopus citations


Human cytomegalovirus replicates in many different cell types, including epithelial cells, endothelial cells, and fibroblasts. However, laboratory strains of the virus, many of which were developed as attenuated vaccine candidates by serial passage in fibroblasts, have lost the ability to infect epithelial and endothelial cells. Their growth is restricted primarily to fibroblasts, due to mutations in the UL131-UL128 locus. We now demonstrate that two products of this locus, pUL130 and pUL128, form a complex with gH and gL, but not gO. The AD169 laboratory strain, which lacks a functional UL131 protein, produces virions containing only the gH-gL-gO complex. An epithelial and endothelial cell tropic AD169 variant in which the UL131 ORF has been repaired, termed BAD/UL131, produces virions that carry both gH-gL-gO and gH-gL-pUL128-pUL130 complexes. Antibodies against pUL130 and pUL128 block infection of epithelial and endothelial cells by BAD/UL131 and the fusion-inducing factor X clinical human cytomegalovirus isolate but do not affect the efficiency with which fibroblasts are infected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18153-18158
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number50
StatePublished - Dec 13 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


  • Glycoprotein complex
  • Host range


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