LDLR is an entry receptor for Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus

Cell Res. 2024 Feb;34(2):140-150. doi: 10.1038/s41422-023-00917-w. Epub 2024 Jan 5.


Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is the most widespread tick-born zoonotic bunyavirus that causes severe hemorrhagic fever and death in humans. CCHFV enters the cell via clathrin-mediated endocytosis which is dependent on its surface glycoproteins. However, the cellular receptors that are required for CCHFV entry are unknown. Here we show that the low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) is an entry receptor for CCHFV. Genetic knockout of LDLR impairs viral infection in various CCHFV-susceptible human, monkey and mouse cells, which is restored upon reconstitution with ectopically-expressed LDLR. Mutagenesis studies indicate that the ligand binding domain (LBD) of LDLR is necessary for CCHFV infection. LDLR binds directly to CCHFV glycoprotein Gc with high affinity, which supports virus attachment and internalization into host cells. Consistently, a soluble sLDLR-Fc fusion protein or anti-LDLR blocking antibodies impair CCHFV infection into various susceptible cells. Furthermore, genetic knockout of LDLR or administration of an LDLR blocking antibody significantly reduces viral loads, pathological effects and death following CCHFV infection in mice. Our findings suggest that LDLR is an entry receptor for CCHFV and pharmacological targeting of LDLR may provide a strategy to prevent and treat Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endocytosis
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Hemorrhagic Fever Virus, Crimean-Congo* / genetics
  • Hemorrhagic Fever Virus, Crimean-Congo* / metabolism
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Crimean* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Receptors, LDL* / metabolism
  • Virus Internalization


  • Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, LDL
  • LDLR protein, human