Cell-cell contact promotes Ebola virus GP-mediated infection

Chunhui Miao, Minghua Li, Yi Min Zheng, Fredric S. Cohen, Shan Lu Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ebola virus (EBOV) is a highly pathogenic filovirus that causes hemorrhagic fever in humans and animals. Here we provide evidence that cell-cell contact promotes infection mediated by the glycoprotein (GP) of EBOV. Interestingly, expression of EBOV GP alone, even in the absence of retroviral Gag-Pol, is sufficient to transfer a retroviral vector encoding Tet-off from cell to cell. Cell-to-cell infection mediated by EBOV GP is blocked by inhibitors of actin polymerization, but appears to be less sensitive to KZ52 neutralization. Treatment of co-cultured cells with cathepsin B/L inhibitors, or an entry inhibitor 3.47 that targets the virus binding to receptor NPC1, also blocks cell-to-cell infection. Cell-cell contact also enhances spread of rVSV bearing GP in monocytes and macrophages, the primary targets of natural EBOV infection. Altogether, our study reveals that cell-cell contact promotes EBOV GP-mediated infection, and provides new insight into understanding of EBOV spread and viral pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-215
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Jan 15 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell-to-cell infection
  • Ebola virus
  • GP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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