Human aminopeptidase N is a receptor for human coronavirus 229E

Abstract

HUMAN coronaviruses (HCV) in two serogroups represented by HCV-229E and HCV-OC43 are an important cause of upper respiratory tract infections1. Here we report that human aminopeptidase N, a cell-surface metalloprotease on intestinal, lung and kidney epithelial cells2–5, is a receptor for human coronavirus strain HCV-229E, but not for HCV-OC43. A monoclonal antibody, RBS, blocked HCV-229E virus infection of human lung fibroblasts, immunoprecipitated aminopeptidase N and inhibited its enzymatic activity. HCV-229E-resistant murine fibroblasts became susceptible after transfection with complementary DNA encoding human aminopeptidase N. By contrast, infection of human cells with HCV-OC43 was not inhibited by antibody RBS and expression of aminopeptidase N did not enhance HCV-OC43 replication in mouse cells. A mutant aminopeptidase lacking the catalytic site of the enzyme did not bind HCV-229E or RBS and did not render murine cells susceptible to HCV-229E infection, suggesting that the virus-binding site may lie at or near the active site of the human aminopeptidase molecule.

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Yeager, C., Ashmun, R., Williams, R. et al. Human aminopeptidase N is a receptor for human coronavirus 229E. Nature 357, 420–422 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1038/357420a0

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