Analysis of the interaction of Ebola virus glycoprotein with DC-SIGN (dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3-grabbing nonintegrin) and its homologue DC-SIGNR

J Infect Dis. 2007 Nov 15;196 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):S237-46. doi: 10.1086/520607.


Background: The lectin DC-SIGN (dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3-grabbing nonintegrin) augments Ebola virus (EBOV) infection. However, it its unclear whether DC-SIGN promotes only EBOV attachment (attachment factor function, nonessential) or actively facilitates EBOV entry (receptor function, essential).

Methods: We investigated whether DC-SIGN on B cell lines and dendritic cells acts as an EBOV attachment factor or receptor.

Results: Engineered DC-SIGN expression rendered some B cell lines susceptible to EBOV glycoprotein (EBOV GP)-driven infection, whereas others remained refractory, suggesting that cellular factors other than DC-SIGN are also required for susceptibility to EBOV infection. Augmentation of entry was independent of efficient DC-SIGN internalization and might not involve lectin-mediated endocytic uptake of virions. Therefore, DC-SIGN is unlikely to function as an EBOV receptor on B cell lines; instead, it might concentrate virions onto cells, thereby allowing entry into cell lines expressing low levels of endogenous receptor(s). Indeed, artificial concentration of virions onto cells mirrored DC-SIGN expression, confirming that optimization of viral attachment is sufficient for EBOV GP-driven entry into some B cell lines. Finally, EBOV infection of dendritic cells was only partially dependent on mannose-specific lectins, such as DC-SIGN, suggesting an important contribution of other factors.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that DC-SIGN is not an EBOV receptor but, rather, is an attachment-promoting factor that boosts entry into B cell lines susceptible to low levels of EBOV GP-mediated infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Ebolavirus / physiology*
  • Glycoproteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lectins, C-Type / genetics
  • Lectins, C-Type / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmids
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology*
  • Receptors, Virus / physiology
  • Viral Proteins / physiology*


  • CLEC4M protein, human
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • DC-specific ICAM-3 grabbing nonintegrin
  • Glycoproteins
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Virus
  • Viral Proteins