Identification of the myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein as a cellular receptor for rubella virus

J Virol. 2011 Nov;85(21):11038-47. doi: 10.1128/JVI.05398-11. Epub 2011 Aug 31.


Rubella virus (RV) is a highly transmissible pathogenic agent that causes the disease rubella. Maternal RV infection during early pregnancy causes the death of the fetus or congenital rubella syndrome in infants. However, the cellular receptor for RV has not yet been identified. In this study, we found that the myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) specifically bound to the E1 envelope glycoprotein of RV, and an antibody against MOG could block RV infection. Most importantly, we also showed that ectopic expression of MOG on the cell surface of 293T cells rendered this nonpermissive cell line permissive for RV entry and replication. Thus, this study has identified a cellular receptor for RV and suggests that blocking the MOG attachment site of RV may be a strategy for molecular intervention of RV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Humans
  • Myelin Proteins / metabolism*
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, Virus / metabolism*
  • Rubella virus / physiology*
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / metabolism*
  • Virus Attachment*


  • MOG protein, human
  • Myelin Proteins
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Receptors, Virus
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • E1 envelope protein, Rubella virus