Measles virus (MV) has a very limited host range, humans being the only natural reservoir of the virus. This restriction may be due to the absence of an MV receptor on the surface of non-primate cells. We have studied the MV-binding ability of several cell lines and attempted to characterize the receptor by studying the binding of S-labelled MV and by a rosette formation technique. We confirmed that all the human cell lines examined (HeLa, Raji and Jurkat) bound MV and that the murine cell lines (BW and L) did not. The glycoprotein nature of the receptor activity was demonstrated by the fact that it could be removed from the cell membrane using proteolytic enzymes and by its failure to be re-expressed in the presence of a protein synthesis inhibitor or an -glycosylation inhibitor. A monoclonal antibody isolated after immunization of mice with Raji cells specifically inhibited MV binding and infection of human cells, and recognized human and simian but not murine cells. Depending on the cell line (HeLa, Raji, Jurkat or Vero), this antibody immunoprecipitated one or two glycoproteins with apparent s of 57K and/or 67K from human and simian cells, but not from murine cells.


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