Virus Genes

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 307–319 | Cite as

Characteristics of Epstein–Barr virus envelope protein gp42

  • Pamela L. Shaw
  • Austin N. Kirschner
  • Theodore S. Jardetzky
  • Richard LongneckerEmail author


Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) glycoprotein 42 (gp42) is a membrane protein essential for fusion and entry of EBV into host B-lymphocytes. Gp42 is a member of the protein-fold family C-type lectin or lectin-like domains (CLECT or CTLD) and specifically is classified as a natural-killer receptor (NKR)-like CLECT. Literature review and phylogenetic comparison show that EBV gp42 shares a common structure with other NKR-like CLECTs and possibly with many viral CTLDs, but does not appear to exhibit some common binding characteristics of many CTLDs, such as features required for calcium binding. The flexible N-terminal region adjacent to the CTLD fold is important for binding to other EBV glycoproteins and for a cleavage site that is necessary for infection of host cells. From structural studies of gp42 unbound and bound to receptor and extensive mutational analysis, a general model of how gp42 triggers membrane fusion utilizing both the flexible N-terminal region and the CTLD domain has emerged.


Epstein–Barr virus Glycoprotein Herpesvirus EBV Gp42 Viral entry 



We thank the members of the Longnecker, Jardetzky, and Spear laboratories for help and support. This work was supported in part by National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health Informationist Fellowship F37LM009568 (P. L. Shaw) This research was supported by AI076183 (R. Longnecker and T. S. Jardetzky) AI067048 (R. Longnecker) from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and CA117794 from the National Cancer Institute to (R. Longnecker and T. S. Jardetzky). This study was also supported in part by a predoctoral fellowship from Northwestern’s Biotechnology Training Program from NIH (A. N. Kirschner).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pamela L. Shaw
    • 1
    • 2
  • Austin N. Kirschner
    • 3
  • Theodore S. Jardetzky
    • 4
  • Richard Longnecker
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Galter Health Sciences Library, The Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell BiologyNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Structural BiologyStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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