Herpesviruses are ubiquitous human pathogens that cause a wide range of health complications. Currently, there is an incomplete understanding of cellular factors that contribute to herpesvirus infection. Here, we report an antiviral necroptosis-based genetic screen to identify novel host cell factors required for infection with the β-herpesvirus murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV). Our genomewide CRISPR-based screen harnessed the capacity of herpesvirus mutants that trigger antiviral necroptotic cell death upon early viral gene expression. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and semaphorin-binding receptor Neuropilin-1 (Nrp-1) emerge as crucial determinants of MCMV infection. We find that elimination of Nrp-1 impairs early viral gene expression and reduces infection rates in endothelial cells, fibroblasts, and macrophages. Furthermore, preincubation of virus with soluble Nrp-1 dramatically inhibits infection by reducing virus attachment. Thus, Nrp-1 is a key determinant of the initial phase of MCMV infection.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Aug 2020|
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