What is it about?

The Ebola virus glycoprotein antagonizes the interferon-induced antiviral host cell factor tetherin. However, it has been incompletely understood which determinants of GP control tetherin antagonism. González-Hernández and colleagues show that a GXXXA motif within the transmembrane domain of the Ebola virus glycoprotein is required for inhibition of tetherin. Thus, a chimeric VSV encoding EBOV-GP spreads less efficient in tetherin-positive cells as compared to tetherin-negative control cells.

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Why is it important?

This finding should help to define the contribution of tetherin antagonism to Ebola virus spread and pathogenesis in the host.


The GXXXA motif markedly reduced tetherin antagonism but also slightly reduced Ebola virus glycoprotein-driven host cell entry. Future studies need to reveal whether glycoprotein mutants can be generated that fail to antagonize tetherin but mediated host cell entry with the same efficiency as the wild type protein.

Professor Stefan Pöhlmann
German Primate Center

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This page is a summary of: A GXXXA Motif in the Transmembrane Domain of the Ebola Virus Glycoprotein Is Required for Tetherin Antagonism, Journal of Virology, April 2018, ASM Journals, DOI: 10.1128/jvi.00403-18.
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