Influenza A virus (IAV) infection is initiated by the attachment of the viral glycoprotein hemagglutinin (HA) to sialic acid on the host cell surface. However, the sialic acid-containing receptor crucial for IAV infection has remained unidentified. Here, we show that HA binds to the voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel Cav1.2 to trigger intracellular Ca2+ oscillations and subsequent IAV entry and replication. IAV entry was inhibited by Ca2+ channel blockers (CCBs) or by knockdown of Cav1.2. The CCB diltiazem also inhibited virus replication in vivo. Reintroduction of wild-type but not the glycosylation-deficient mutants of Cav1.2 restored Ca2+ oscillations and virus infection in Cav1.2-depleted cells, demonstrating the significance of Cav1.2 sialylation. Taken together, we identify Cav1.2 as a sialylated host cell surface receptor that binds HA and is critical for IAV entry.
Keywords: calcium channel; calcium channel blockers; calcium ion; hemagglutinin; influenza A virus; sialylation; virus entry; virus-host cell interaction.
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