Adenovirus fiber disrupts CAR-mediated intercellular adhesion allowing virus escape

Cell. 2002 Sep 20;110(6):789-99. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(02)00912-1.


Adenovirus binds its receptor (CAR), enters cells, and replicates. It must then escape to the environment to infect a new host. We found that following infection, human airway epithelia first released adenovirus to the basolateral surface. Virus then traveled between epithelial cells to emerge on the apical surface. Adenovirus fiber protein, which is produced during viral replication, facilitated apical escape. Fiber binds CAR, which sits on the basolateral membrane where it maintains tight junction integrity. When fiber bound CAR, it disrupted junctional integrity, allowing virus to filter between the cells and emerge apically. Thus, adenovirus exploits its receptor for two important but distinct steps in its life cycle: entry into host cells and escape across epithelial barriers to the environment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / growth & development
  • Adenoviridae / pathogenicity*
  • Adenoviridae / ultrastructure
  • Adenoviridae Infections / physiopathology
  • Adenoviridae Infections / virology
  • Capsid / pharmacology*
  • Capsid Proteins*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cilia / ultrastructure
  • Coxsackie and Adenovirus Receptor-Like Membrane Protein
  • Electric Impedance
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Receptors, Virus / metabolism*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / cytology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / ultrastructure
  • Respiratory Mucosa / virology
  • Tight Junctions / ultrastructure
  • Time Factors
  • Virus Replication


  • CLMP protein, human
  • Capsid Proteins
  • Coxsackie and Adenovirus Receptor-Like Membrane Protein
  • Receptors, Virus
  • hexon capsid protein, Adenovirus