Spescial Issues

The molecular basis of Ebola virus entry into host cells

  • WANG Han ,
  • SONG Jian ,
  • Gao George Fu ,
  • SHI Yi
  • 1. Beijing Institutes of Life Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. CAS Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    4. Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 102206, China

Received date: 2018-02-16

  Revised date: 2018-03-23

  Online published: 2018-04-27


Belonging to Filoviridae family, Ebola virus is a type of enveloped virus that can cause Ebola hemorrhagic fever in humans and primates. Because of its high mortality rate, Ebola virus now is listed as the most virulent pathogens by the World Health Organization. Since it was first found in 1976, Ebola virus has killed tens of thousands of people in Africa, brought great threat to human life and caused enormous economic losses. Therefore, prevention and control of Ebola virus have always been an important part of scientific researches. However, the understanding of Ebola virus is very limited especially in the cell surface receptors and the membrane fusion mechanism, which has hindered antiviral drug design and development. In this paper, we summarize Ebola virus in terms of taxonomy, morphology, viral proteins and viral life cycle, and highlight the achievements made by George Fu Gao's group in the study of molecular basis of Ebola virus entry into host cells. They include the determination of the crystal structures of NPC1-C and its complex with GPcl, which clarifies the recognition mechanism of Ebola virus and its host cell receptor at atomic level. Furthermore, their results reveal the molecular basis of GPcl/NPC1 interactions, thereby shedding light on the mechanism of Ebola virus membrane fusion, which will guide further development of small antiviral molecules and peptides for prevention and/or treatment of Ebola virus infection.

Cite this article

WANG Han , SONG Jian , Gao George Fu , SHI Yi . The molecular basis of Ebola virus entry into host cells[J]. Science & Technology Review, 2018 , 36(7) : 56 -63 . DOI: 10.3981/j.issn.1000-7857.2018.07.009


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