Soluble receptor-mediated targeting of mouse hepatitis coronavirus to the human epidermal growth factor receptor

T. Würdinger, M. H. Verheije, K. Broen, B. J. Bosch, B. J. Haijema, C. A.M. De Haan, V. W. Van Beusechem, W. R. Gerritsen, P. J.M. Rottier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The mouse hepatitis coronavirus (MHV) infects murine cells by binding of its spike (S) protein to murine CEACAM1a. The N-terminal part of this cellular receptor (soR) is sufficient for S binding and for subsequent induction of the conformational changes required for virus-cell membrane fusion. Here we analyzed whether these characteristics can be used to redirect MHV to human cancer cells. To this end, the soR domain was coupled to single-chain monoclonal antibody 425, which is directed against the human epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), resulting in a bispecific adapter protein (soR-425). The soR and soR-425 proteins, both produced with the vaccinia virus system, were able to neutralize MHV infection of murine LR7 cells. However, only soR-425 was able to target MHV to human EGFR-expressing cancer cells. Interestingly, the targeted infections induced syncytium formation. Furthermore, the soR-425-mediated infections were blocked by heptad repeat-mimicking peptides, indicating that virus entry requires the regular S protein fusion process. We conclude that the specific spike-binding property of the CEACAM1a N-terminal fragment can be exploited to direct the virus to selected cells by linking it to a moiety able to bind a receptor on those cells. This approach might be useful in the development of tumor-targeted coronaviruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15314-15322
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Soluble receptor-mediated targeting of mouse hepatitis coronavirus to the human epidermal growth factor receptor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this