We sought proof of principle that one of the safest human vaccines, measles virus Edmonston B (MV-Edm), can be genetically modified to allow entry via cell surface molecules other than its receptor CD46. Hybrid proteins consisting of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) or the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) linked to the extracellular (carboxyl) terminus of the MV-Edm attachment protein hemagglutinin (H) were produced. The standard H protein gene was replaced by one coding for H/EGF or H/IGF1 in cDNA copies of the MV genome. Recombinant viruses were rescued and replicated to titers approaching those of the parental strain. MV displaying EGF or IGF1 efficiently entered CD46-negative rodent cells expressing the human EGF or the IGF1 receptor, respectively, and the EGF virus caused extensive syncytium formation and cell death. Taking advantage of a factor Xa protease recognition site engineered in the hybrid H proteins, the displayed domain was cleaved off from virus particles, and specific entry in rodent cells was abrogated. These studies prove that MV can be engineered to selectively eliminate cells expressing a targeted receptor and provide insights into the mechanism of MV entry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science