Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) as an auxiliary host factor for RNA viruses

Life Sci Alliance. 2023 Apr 18;6(7):e202302005. doi: 10.26508/lsa.202302005. Print 2023 Jul.


Viruses with an RNA genome are often the cause of zoonotic infections. In order to identify novel pro-viral host cell factors, we screened a haploid insertion-mutagenized mouse embryonic cell library for clones that are resistant to Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV). This screen returned the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) as a top hit, a plasma membrane protein involved in a wide variety of cell activities. Inactivation of LRP1 in human cells reduced RVFV RNA levels already at the attachment and entry stages of infection. Moreover, the role of LRP1 in promoting RVFV infection was dependent on physiological levels of cholesterol and on endocytosis. In the human cell line HuH-7, LRP1 also promoted early infection stages of sandfly fever Sicilian virus and La Crosse virus, but had a minor effect on late infection by vesicular stomatitis virus, whereas encephalomyocarditis virus was entirely LRP1-independent. Moreover, siRNA experiments in human Calu-3 cells demonstrated that also SARS-CoV-2 infection benefitted from LRP1. Thus, we identified LRP1 as a host factor that supports infection by a spectrum of RNA viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / metabolism
  • Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Related Protein-1 / genetics
  • Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Related Protein-1 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Rift Valley fever virus* / genetics
  • Rift Valley fever virus* / metabolism
  • SARS-CoV-2 / genetics


  • Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Related Protein-1
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • LRP1 protein, human
  • Lrp1 protein, mouse