Role of Glycoproteins in Virus–Human Cell Interactions
Bowden TA., Fry EE.
Glycosylation of viral proteins is clearly advantageous to virus survival, having roles in cell entry, proteolytic processing, trafficking and immune evasion. For enveloped RNA viruses, including many important human pathogens, entry into host cells tends to be mediated by viral glycoproteins. Structural studies of glycoproteins from different viral families have gradually elucidated the mechanisms by which this occurs. We illustrate this by providing examples from recent studies and show that clear differences exist between viruses which use individual glycoproteins for attachment and fusion, and those that use a single glycoprotein for both functions. However, in all cases a similar end-point is reached. Understanding the biology of infection and host responses should lead to the development of enhanced therapeutics.