Phosphatidylserine is not the cell surface receptor for vesicular stomatitis virus.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of virology, Volume 78, Issue 20, p.10920-6 (2004)


2004, Animals, Annexin A5, Cell Line, Cell Membrane, Cricetinae, Dogs, Human Biology Division, Humans, Phosphatidylserines, Receptors, Cell Surface, Receptors, Virus, Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus


The envelope protein from vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) has become an important tool for gene transfer and gene therapy. It is widely used mainly because of its ability to mediate virus entry into all cell types tested to date. Consistent with the broad tropism of the virus, the receptor for VSV is thought to be a ubiquitous membrane lipid, phosphatidylserine (PS). However, the evidence for this hypothesis is indirect and incomplete. Here, we have examined the potential interaction of VSV and PS at the plasma membrane in more detail. Measurements of cell surface levels of PS show a wide range across cell types from different organisms. We demonstrate that there is no correlation between the cell surface PS levels and VSV infection or binding. We also demonstrate that an excess of annexin V, which binds specifically and tightly to PS, does not inhibit infection or binding by VSV. While the addition of PS to cells does allow increased virus entry, we show that this effect is not specific to the VSV envelope. We conclude that PS is not the cell surface receptor for VSV, although it may be involved in a postbinding step of virus entry.