The ocular tropism of adenovirus type 37 (Ad37) does not correlate with the wide distribution of the 46-kDa coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR), the major receptor for most adenovirus serotypes. We previously found that Ad37 infects and binds well to conjunctival cells (Chang C), but poorly to lung epithelial (A549) cells that express CAR and hypothesized that this serotype uses a distinct receptor that is selectively expressed on conjunctival cells. To test this, we produced particles of a fiber-deleted Ad5 vector containing the Ad37 fiber protein. The "pseudotyped" vector infected Chang C cells better than A549 cells using a CAR-independent pathway. Ad37 binding was calcium-dependent and was abolished by protease digestion of cell surface proteins. Using a virus overlay protein blot assay (VOPBA), we detected calcium-dependent Ad37 binding to 50- and 60-kDa membrane proteins on permissive Chang C cells. In contrast, calcium-dependent binding was detected with only the 60-kDa protein on nonpermissive A549 cells. Ad19p, a closely related serotype that failed to bind to conjunctival cells, recognized the 60-kDa, but not the 50-kDa, protein. Ad37 has been reported to use sialic acid instead of CAR as a cell receptor on A549 cells. Pretreatment of Chang C cells with neuraminidase abolished Ad37 binding to only the 60-kDa protein, suggesting that sialic acid mediates Ad37 binding to the 60-kDa protein. The pseudotyped Ad37 vector was also able to infect neuraminidase-treated Chang C cells. Thus, subgroup D adenoviral binding to the 50-kDa protein is calcium-dependent and cell type- and serotype-specific, whereas binding to the 60-kDa protein is not necessary for infection of conjunctival cells. Together, these data suggest that the 50-kDa protein is the major receptor for Ad37 on conjunctival cells.
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