Folate receptor-alpha is a cofactor for cellular entry by Marburg and Ebola viruses

Cell. 2001 Jul 13;106(1):117-26. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(01)00418-4.


Human infections by Marburg (MBG) and Ebola (EBO) viruses result in lethal hemorrhagic fever. To identify cellular entry factors employed by MBG virus, noninfectible cells transduced with an expression library were challenged with a selectable pseudotype virus packaged by MBG glycoproteins (GP). A cDNA encoding the folate receptor-alpha (FR-alpha) was recovered from cells exhibiting reconstitution of viral entry. A FR-alpha cDNA was recovered in a similar strategy employing EBO pseudotypes. FR-alpha expression in Jurkat cells facilitated MBG or EBO entry, and FR-blocking reagents inhibited infection by MBG or EBO. Finally, FR-alpha bound cells expressing MBG or EBO GP and mediated syncytia formation triggered by MBG GP. Thus, FR-alpha is a significant cofactor for cellular entry for MBG and EBO viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Fusion
  • Cell Line
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Ebolavirus / physiology*
  • Folate Receptors, GPI-Anchored
  • Gene Library
  • Giant Cells / ultrastructure
  • Giant Cells / virology
  • HIV-1 / physiology
  • Humans
  • Jurkat Cells
  • Marburgvirus / physiology*
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology*
  • Receptors, Virus / physiology*
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Vero Cells
  • Viral Proteins / genetics


  • Carrier Proteins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Folate Receptors, GPI-Anchored
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Virus
  • Viral Proteins