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1.  Canine Distemper Virus Infection Requires Cholesterol in the Viral Envelope▿  
Journal of Virology  2007;81(8):4158-4165.
Cholesterol is known to play an important role in stabilizing particular cellular membrane structures, so-called lipid or membrane rafts. For several viruses, a dependence on cholesterol for virus entry and/or morphogenesis has been shown. Using flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy, we demonstrate that infection of cells by canine distemper virus (CDV) was not impaired after cellular cholesterol had been depleted by the drug methyl-β-cyclodextrin. This effect was independent of the multiplicity of infection and the cellular receptor used for infection. However, cholesterol depletion of the viral envelope significantly reduced CDV infectivity. Replenishment by addition of exogenous cholesterol restored infectivity up to 80%. Thus, we conclude that CDV entry is dependent on cholesterol in the viral envelope. Furthermore, reduced syncytium formation was observed when the cells were cholesterol depleted during the course of the infection. This may be related to the observation that CDV envelope proteins H and F partitioned into cellular detergent-resistant membranes. Therefore, a role for lipid rafts during virus assembly and release as well is suggested.
doi:10.1128/JVI.02647-06
PMCID: PMC1866149  PMID: 17267508
2.  The Hemagglutinin of Canine Distemper Virus Determines Tropism and Cytopathogenicity 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(14):6418-6427.
Canine distemper virus (CDV) and measles virus (MV) cause severe illnesses in their respective hosts. The viruses display a characteristic cytopathic effect by forming syncytia in susceptible cells. For CDV, the proficiency of syncytium formation varies among different strains and correlates with the degree of viral attenuation. In this study, we examined the determinants for the differential fusogenicity of the wild-type CDV isolate 5804Han89 (CDV5804), the small- and large-plaque-forming variants of the CDV vaccine strain Onderstepoort (CDVOS and CDVOL, respectively), and the MV vaccine strain Edmonston B (MVEdm). The cotransfection of different combinations of fusion (F) and hemagglutinin (H) genes in Vero cells indicated that the H protein is the main determinant of fusion efficiency. To verify the significance of this observation in the viral context, a reverse genetic system to generate recombinant CDVs was established. This system is based on a plasmid containing the full-length antigenomic sequence of CDVOS. The coding regions of the H proteins of all CDV strains and MVEdm were introduced into the CDV and MV genetic backgrounds, and recombinant viruses rCDV-H5804, rCDV-HOL, rCDV-HEdm, rMV-H5804, rMV-HOL, and rMV-HOS were recovered. Thus, the H proteins of the two morbilliviruses are interchangeable and fully functional in a heterologous complex. This is in contrast with the glycoproteins of other members of the family Paramyxoviridae, which do not function efficiently with heterologous partners. The fusogenicity, growth characteristics, and tropism of the recombinant viruses were examined and compared with those of the parental strains. All these characteristics were found to be predominantly mediated by the H protein regardless of the viral backbone used.
doi:10.1128/JVI.75.14.6418-6427.2001
PMCID: PMC114365  PMID: 11413309

Results 1-2 (2)