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Structural and Evolutionary Insights Into the Binding of Host Receptors by the Rabies Virus Glycoprotein

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Article number736114
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/10/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology
Number of pages13
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Rabies represents a typical model for spillover of zoonotic viral diseases among multiple hosts. Understanding the success of rabies virus (RV) in switching hosts requires the analysis of viral evolution and host interactions. In this study, we have investigated the structural and sequence analysis of host receptors among different RV susceptible host species. Our extensive bioinformatic analysis revealed the absence of the integrin plexin domain in the integrin β1 (ITGB1) receptor of the black fruit bats in the current annotation of the genome. Interestingly, the nicotinic acetyl choline receptor (nAChR) interaction site with the glycoprotein (G) of RV was conserved among different species. To study the interaction dynamics between RV-G protein and the RV receptors, we constructed and analyzed structures of RV receptors and G proteins using homology modeling. The molecular docking of protein-protein interaction between RV-G protein and different host receptors highlighted the variability of interacting residues between RV receptors of different species. These in silico structural analysis and interaction mapping of viral protein and host receptors establish the foundation to understand complex entry mechanisms of RV entry, which may facilitate the understanding of receptor mediated spillover events in RV infections and guide the development of novel vaccines to contain the infection.

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