Morbilliviruses use signaling lymphocyte activation molecules (CD150) as cellular receptors

J Virol. 2001 Jul;75(13):5842-50. doi: 10.1128/JVI.75.13.5842-5850.2001.


Morbilliviruses comprise measles virus, canine distemper virus, rinderpest virus, and several other viruses that cause devastating human and animal diseases accompanied by severe immunosuppression and lymphopenia. Recently, we have shown that human signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM) is a cellular receptor for measles virus. In this study, we examined whether canine distemper and rinderpest viruses also use canine and bovine SLAMs, respectively, as cellular receptors. The Onderstepoort vaccine strain and two B95a (marmoset B cell line)-isolated strains of canine distemper virus caused extensive cytopathic effects in normally resistant CHO (Chinese hamster ovary) cells after expression of canine SLAM. The Ako vaccine strain of rinderpest virus produced strong cytopathic effects in bovine SLAM-expressing CHO cells. The data on entry with vesicular stomatitis virus pseudotypes bearing measles, canine distemper, or rinderpest virus envelope proteins were consistent with development of cytopathic effects in SLAM-expressing CHO cell clones after infection with the respective viruses, confirming that SLAM acts at the virus entry step (as a cellular receptor). Furthermore, most measles, canine distemper, and rinderpest virus strains examined could any use of the human, canine, and bovine SLAMs to infect cells. Our findings suggest that the use of SLAM as a cellular receptor may be a property common to most, if not all, morbilliviruses and explain the lymphotropism and immunosuppressive nature of morbilliviruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD
  • CHO Cells
  • Callithrix
  • Cattle
  • Cricetinae
  • Distemper Virus, Canine / physiology*
  • Glycoproteins / physiology*
  • Immunoglobulins / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Virus / physiology*
  • Rinderpest virus / physiology*
  • Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecule Family Member 1


  • Antigens, CD
  • Glycoproteins
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Virus
  • SLAMF1 protein, human
  • Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecule Family Member 1

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF325357
  • GENBANK/AF329970