In an article published in PNAS earlier this month, a group led by Dr, Yasuko Mori at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan has identified a novel cellular receptor specific for HHV-6B entry. The cellular receptor for HHV-6A entry was previously identified as human CD46, but the receptor for HHV-6B has not been clear until now. CD134, a member of the TNF receptor superfamily, has now been shown as a specific entry receptor for HHV-6B.
The group demonstrates the use of CD134 by HHV-6B through a T cell line that is normally nonpermissive for HHV-6B infection. However, when CD134 is overexpressed, this cell line becomes highly susceptible to infection by HHV-6B. CD134 was also found to be down-regulated in HHV-6B-infected T cells. In addition, soluble CD134 interacted with the HHV-6B glycoprotein complex that serves as a viral ligand for the cellular receptor, which inhibited HHV-6B but not HHV-6A infection in target cells. The identification of CD134 as an HHV-6B specific entry receptor provides important insight into understanding HHV-6B entry and its pathogenesis, and opens new doors for the study of HHV-6B in many clinical settings moving forward.
Dr. Yasuko Mori is renowned for her work as a clinical molecular virologist, with particular expertise in the field of HHV-6. She is head of the division of Clinical Virology at Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, and is a longtime HHV-6 Foundation Scientific Advisory Board member.
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