Coreceptor restriction within the HLA-DQ locus for Epstein-Barr virus infection

Keith M. Haan, Richard Longnecker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human herpesvirus that causes infectious mononucleosis and is etiologically associated with malignancies of multiple origins. EBV enters cells through a cascade of interactions between its envelope glycoprotein gp350 and the gp42-gH-gL complex with cellular receptors. Membrane fusion is catalyzed by the binding of gp42, a member of the C type lectin family, to HLA class II molecule HLA-DR, -DP, or -DQ. Here we demonstrate that only a subset of HLA-DQ alleles mediates EBV entry, indicating that individuals expressing these alleles may offer unique sites for EBV infection and subsequent sequelae. Additionally, the specific site within HLA-DQ determined to be essential for EBV entry is homologous to a site within MHC class I shown by structural studies to bind to the C type-lectin-like natural killer receptor, providing insight into the biochemical nature of the gp42-HLA class II interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9252-9257
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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