Viral infection is usually initiated by the binding of virus particles to specific receptor molecule(s) on the host cell surface. Blocking of this step prevents the following step, penetration into the cell. In the present study, we investigated the virus-cell interactions of virions of Norwalk virus (NV), a major etiological agent for viral diarrhea. We found that histone was an extremely strong NV-binding protein. Histone H1, a heterologous histone molecule, appeared to be able to interact not only with NV particles, but also with the cell surface. Histone H1 appeared capable of effectively preventing the attachment of NV to intestinal cells, but not of other viruses. No cytotoxic effects of histone were observed under the assay conditions. These results indicate that nonsecretory histone molecules may inhibit the attachment of viruses to cells like lactoferrins. Our results suggest that by searching virus-binding molecules, we might find antiviral agents, even for new viruses.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 27, 2003
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