Gangliosides are essential endosomal receptors for quasi-enveloped and naked hepatitis A virus.
The Picornaviridae are a diverse family of positive-strand RNA viruses that includes numerous human and veterinary pathogens1. Among these, hepatitis A virus (HAV), a common cause of acute hepatitis in humans, is unique in that it is hepatotropic and is released from hepatocytes without lysis in small vesicles that resemble exosomes2,3. These quasi-enveloped virions are infectious and are the only form of virus that can be detected in the blood during acute infection2. By contrast, non-enveloped naked virions are shed in faeces and stripped of membranes by bile salts during passage through the bile ducts to the gut4. How these two distinct types of infectious hepatoviruses enter cells to initiate infection is unclear. Here, we describe a genome-wide forward screen that shows that glucosylceramide synthase and other components of the ganglioside synthetic pathway are crucial host factors that are required for cellular entry by hepatoviruses. We show that gangliosides-preferentially disialogangliosides-function as essential endolysosome receptors that are required for infection by both naked and quasi-enveloped virions. In the absence of gangliosides, both virion types are efficiently internalized through endocytosis, but capsids fail to uncoat and accumulate within LAMP1+ endolysosomes. Gangliosides relieve this block, binding to the capsid at low pH and facilitating a late step in entry involving uncoating and delivery of the RNA genome to the cytoplasm. These results reveal an atypical cellular entry pathway for hepatoviruses that is unique among picornaviruses.
Das, A; Barrientos, R; Shiota, T; Madigan, V; Misumi, I; McKnight, KL; Sun, L; Li, Z; Meganck, RM; Li, Y; Kaluzna, E; Asokan, A; Whitmire, JK; Kapustina, M; Zhang, Q; Lemon, SM
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