Lloviu virus (LLOV), a novel filovirus detected in bats, is phylogenetically distinct from viruses in the genera Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus in the family Filoviridae. While filoviruses are known to cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and/or nonhuman primates, LLOV is biologically uncharacterized, since infectious LLOV has never been isolated. To examine the properties of LLOV, we characterized its envelope glycoprotein (GP), which likely plays a key role in viral tropism and pathogenicity. We first found that LLOV GP principally has the same primary structure as the other filovirus GPs. Similar to the other filoviruses, virus-like particles (VLPs) produced by transient expression of LLOV GP, matrix protein, and nucleoprotein in 293T cells had densely arrayed GP spikes on a filamentous particle. Mouse antiserum to LLOV VLP was barely cross-reactive to viruses of the other genera, indicating that LLOV is serologically distinct from the other known filoviruses. For functional study of LLOV GP, we utilized a vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) pseudotype system and found that LLOV GP requires low endosomal pH and cathepsin L, and that human C-type lectins act as attachment factors for LLOV entry into cells. Interestingly, LLOV GP-pseudotyped VSV infected particular bat cell lines more efficiently than viruses bearing other filovirus GPs. These results suggest that LLOV GP mediates cellular entry in a manner similar to that of the other filoviruses while showing preferential tropism for some bat cells.
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