Journal article

Binding of Lassa virus perturbs extracellular matrix-induced signal transduction via dystroglycan

The arenavirus Lassa virus (LASV) causes a severe haemorrhagic fever with high mortality in man. The cellular receptor for LASV is dystroglycan (DG). DG is a ubiquitous receptor for extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, which cooperates with beta 1 integrins to control cellmatrix interactions. Here, we investigated whether LASV binding to DG triggers signal transduction, mimicking the natural ligands. Engagement of DG by LASV resulted in the recruitment of the adaptor protein Grb2 and the protein kinase MEK1 by the cytoplasmic domain of DG without activating the MEK/ERK pathway, indicating assembly of an inactive signalling complex. LASV binding to cells however affected the activation of the MEK/ERK pathway via a6 beta 1 integrins. The virus-induced perturbation of a6 beta 1 integrin signalling critically depended on high-affinity LASV binding to DG and DG's cytoplasmic domain, indicating that LASVreceptor binding perturbed signalling cross-talk between DG and beta 1 integrins.


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