Mxra8 is a receptor for multiple arthritogenic alphaviruses that cause debilitating acute and chronic musculoskeletal disease in humans. Herein, we present a 2.2 Å resolution X-ray crystal structure of Mxra8 and 4 to 5 Å resolution cryo-electron microscopy reconstructions of Mxra8 bound to chikungunya (CHIKV) virus-like particles and infectious virus. The Mxra8 ectodomain contains two strand-swapped Ig-like domains oriented in a unique disulfide-linked head-to-head arrangement. Mxra8 binds by wedging into a cleft created by two adjacent CHIKV E2-E1 heterodimers in one trimeric spike and engaging a neighboring spike. Two binding modes are observed with the fully mature VLP, with one Mxra8 binding with unique contacts. Only the high-affinity binding mode was observed in the complex with infectious CHIKV, as viral maturation and E3 occupancy appear to influence receptor binding-site usage. Our studies provide insight into how Mxra8 binds CHIKV and creates a path for developing alphavirus entry inhibitors.
Keywords: HDX mass spectrometry; alphavirus; cryo-electron microscopy; infection; protein crystallography; surface plasmon resonance; virus receptor.
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