Calu-3 cells are largely resistant to entry driven by filovirus glycoproteins and the entry defect can be rescued by directed expression of DC-SIGN or cathepsin L

González-Hernández, Mariana; Müller, Andreas; Hoenen, Thomas GND; Hoffmann, Markus; Pöhlmann, Stefan

Priming of the viral glycoprotein (GP) by the cellular proteases cathepsin B and L (CatB, CatL) is believed to be essential for cell entry of filoviruses. However, pseudotyping systems that predominantly produce non-filamentous particles have frequently been used to prove this concept. Here, we report that GP-mediated entry of retroviral-, rhabdoviral and filoviral particles depends on CatB/CatL activity and that this effect is cell line-independent. Moreover, we show that the human cell line Calu-3, which expresses low amounts of CatL, is largely resistant to entry driven by diverse filovirus GPs. Finally, we demonstrate that Calu-3 cell entry mediated by certain filovirus GPs can be rescued upon directed expression of CatL or DC-SIGN. Our results identify Calu-3 cells as largely resistant to filovirus GP-driven entry and demonstrate that entry is limited at the stage of virion attachment and GP priming.

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González-Hernández, Mariana / Müller, Andreas / Hoenen, Thomas / et al: Calu-3 cells are largely resistant to entry driven by filovirus glycoproteins and the entry defect can be rescued by directed expression of DC-SIGN or cathepsin L. 2019.

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