The globoside receptor triggers structural changes in the B19 virus capsid that facilitate virus internalization

J Virol. 2010 Nov;84(22):11737-46. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01143-10. Epub 2010 Sep 8.


Globoside (Gb4Cer), Ku80 autoantigen, and α5β1 integrin have been identified as cell receptors/coreceptors for human parvovirus B19 (B19V), but their role and mechanism of interaction with the virus are largely unknown. In UT7/Epo cells, expression of Gb4Cer and CD49e (integrin alpha-5) was high, but expression of Ku80 was insignificant. B19V colocalized with Gb4Cer and, to a lesser extent, with CD49e. However, only anti-Gb4Cer antibodies could disturb virus attachment. Only a small proportion of cell-bound viruses were internalized, while the majority became detached from the receptor. When added to uninfected cells, the receptor-detached virus showed superior cell binding capacity and infectivity. Attachment of B19V to cells triggered conformational changes in the capsid leading to the accessibility of the N terminus of VP1 (VP1u) to antibodies, which was maintained in the receptor-detached virus. VP1u became similarly accessible to antibodies following incubation of B19V particles with increasing concentrations of purified Gb4Cer. The receptor-mediated exposure of VP1u is critical for virus internalization, since capsids lacking VP1 could bind to cells but were not internalized. Moreover, an antibody against the N terminus of VP1u disturbed virus internalization, but only when present during and not after virus attachment, indicating the involvement of this region in binding events required for internalization. These results suggest that Gb4Cer is not only the primary receptor for B19V attachment but also the mediator of capsid rearrangements required for subsequent interactions leading to virus internalization. The capacity of the virus to detach and reattach again would enhance the probability of productive infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Capsid / chemistry*
  • Capsid / metabolism
  • Capsid Proteins / chemistry*
  • Capsid Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Globosides / genetics
  • Globosides / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Parvoviridae Infections / metabolism*
  • Parvoviridae Infections / virology
  • Parvovirus B19, Human / chemistry
  • Parvovirus B19, Human / genetics
  • Parvovirus B19, Human / physiology*
  • Receptors, Virus / genetics
  • Receptors, Virus / metabolism*
  • Virus Internalization*


  • Capsid Proteins
  • Globosides
  • Receptors, Virus
  • globotetraosylceramide