• Identification and functional characterization of human cytomegalovirus Fc binding proteins
  • Cortese, Mirko <1985>


  • BIO/11 Biologia molecolare


  • ABSTRACT Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) employs many different mechanisms to escape and subvert the host immune system surveillance. Among these different mechanisms the role of human IgG Fc receptors (FcγR) in HCMV pathogenesis is still unclear. In mammalians, FcγRs are expressed on the surface of all haematopoietic cells and have a multifaceted role in regulating the activity of antibodies to generate a well-balanced immune response. Viral proteins with Fcγ binding ability are highly diffuse among herpesviruses. They interfere with the host receptors functions in order to counteract immune system recognition. So far, two human HCMV Fcγ binding proteins have been described: UL119 and RL11. This work was aimed to the identification and characterization of HCMV Fcγ binding proteins. The study is divided in two parts: first the characterization of UL119 and RL11; second the identification and characterization of novel HCMV Fcγ binding proteins. Regarding the first part, we demonstrated that both UL119 and RL11 internalize Fcγ fragments from transfected cells surface through a clathrin dependent pathway. In infected cells both proteins were found in the viral assembly complex and on virions surface as envelope associated glycoproteins. Moreover, internalized Fcγ in infected cells do not undergo lysosomal degradation but rather traffic in early endosomes up to the viral assembly complex. Regarding the second part, we were able to identify two novels Fcγ binding protein coded by CMV: RL12 and RL13. The latter was also further characterized as recombinant protein in terms of cellular localization, Fc binding site and IgG internalization ability. Finally binding specificity of both RL12 and RL13 seems to be confined to human IgG1 and IgG2. Taken together, these data show that HCMV codes for up to 4 FcγR and that they could have a double role both on virus and on infected cells.


  • 2013-04-22


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Cortese, Mirko (2013) Identification and functional characterization of human cytomegalovirus Fc binding proteins, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia cellulare, molecolare e industriale/cellular, molecular and industrial biology: progetto n. 2 Biologia funzionale dei sistemi cellulari e molecolari , 25 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5779.