Guinea pig cytomegalovirus trimer complex gH/gL/gO uses PDGFRA as universal receptor for cell fusion and entry. Academic Article uri icon


  • Species-specific guinea pig cytomegalovirus (GPCMV) causes congenital CMV and the virus encodes homolog glycoprotein complexes to human CMV, including gH-based trimer (gH/gL/gO) and pentamer-complex (PC). Platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (gpPDGFRA), only present on fibroblast cells, was identified via CRISPR as the putative receptor for PC-independent GPCMV infection. Immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated direct interaction of gH/gL/gO with gpPDGFRA but not in absence of gO. Expression of viral gB also resulted in precipitation of gB/gH/gL/gO/gpPDGFRA complex. Cell-cell fusion assays determined that expression of gpPDGFRA and gH/gL/gO in adjacent cells enabled cell fusion, which was not enhanced by gB. N-linked gpPDGFRA glycosylation inhibition had limited effect and blocking tyrosine kinase (TK) transduction had no impact on infection. Ectopically expressed gpPDGFRA or TK-domain mutant in trophoblast or epithelial cells previously non-susceptible to GPCMV(PC-) enabled viral infection. In contrast, transient human PDGFRA expression did not complement GPCMV(PC-) infection, a potential basis for viral species specificity.

published proceedings

  • Virology

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • El-Hamdi, N. S., Choi, K. Y., & McGregor, A.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • El-Hamdi, Nadia S||Choi, K Yeon||McGregor, Alistair

publication date

  • January 2020