Research ArticleVIROLOGY

Crystal structure of bovine herpesvirus 1 glycoprotein D bound to nectin-1 reveals the basis for its low-affinity binding to the receptor

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Science Advances  13 May 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 20, eaba5147
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba5147

Abstract

Bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) has received increasing attention for its potential oncolytic applications. BHV-1 recognizes nectin-1 for cell entry via viral glycoprotein D (gD) but represents a low-affinity nectin-1 binding virus. The molecular basis underlying this low receptor-binding affinity, however, remains unknown. Here, the crystal structures of BHV-1 gD in the free and nectin-1–bound forms are presented. While showing an overall resembled nectin-1 binding mode to other alphaherpesvirus gDs, BHV-1 gD has a unique G-strand/α2-helix interloop that disturbs gD/nectin-1 interactions. Residue R188 residing in this loop is observed to otherwise cause strong steric hindrance with the bound receptor, making a large conformational change of the loop a prerequisite for nectin-1 engagement. Subsequently, substitution of R188 with glycine markedly enhances the affinity of the BHV-1-gD/nectin-1 interaction (by about fivefold). These structural and functional data delineate the receptor-recognition basis for BHV-1, which might facilitate BHV-1–based oncolytic design in the future.

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