CD46 is a cellular receptor for group B adenoviruses

Nat Med. 2003 Nov;9(11):1408-12. doi: 10.1038/nm952. Epub 2003 Oct 19.


Group B adenoviruses, a subgenus of human Adenoviridae, are associated with a variety of often-fatal illnesses in immunocompromised individuals, including bone marrow transplant recipients and cancer and AIDS patients. Recently, group B adenovirus derivatives have gained interest as attractive gene therapy vectors because they can transduce target tissues, such as hematopoietic stem cells, dendritic cells and malignant tumor cells, that are refractory to infection by commonly used adenoviral vectors. Whereas many adenoviruses infect cells through the coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR), group B adenoviruses use an alternate, as-yet-unidentified cellular attachment receptor. Using mass spectrometric analysis of proteins interacting with a group B fiber, we identified human CD46 as a cellular attachment receptor for most group B adenoviruses. We show that ectopic expression of human CD46 rendered nonhuman cells susceptible to infection with group B viruses in vitro and in vivo. In addition, both siRNA-mediated knockdown of CD46 and a soluble form of CD46 blocked infection of human cell lines and primary human cells. The discovery that group B adenoviruses use CD46, a ubiquitously expressed complement regulatory protein, as a cellular attachment receptor elucidates the diverse clinical manifestation of group B virus infections, and bears directly on the application of these vectors for gene therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism*
  • CHO Cells
  • Cricetinae
  • Humans
  • Membrane Cofactor Protein
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Organ Specificity


  • Antigens, CD
  • CD46 protein, human
  • Membrane Cofactor Protein
  • Membrane Glycoproteins