Virus-Receptor Interactions in the Enteric Tract

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Abstract

Expression of specific virus receptors on the surface of intestinal epithelial cells or M cells can determine whether or not a animal is susceptible to infection with an enterotropic virus. Receptors for many animal viruses have been identified. The specificity of virus-receptor interactions clearly affects the species specificity of virus infection, and in some instances may be an important determinant of viral tissue tropism. In this paper, the specificity of coronavirus-receptor interactions is summarized. Porcine and human coronaviruses utilize aminopeptidase N as their receptors, but in a species-specific manner. Mouse hepatitis virus uses several rodent glycoproteins in the carcinoembryonic antigen family as receptors. In addition, some coronaviruses can interact with carbohydrate moieties on the cell surface. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of virus-receptor interactions may lead to development of novel strategies for the control of enteric viral diseases.