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CD46, or membrane cofactor protein, is a type-one transmembrane protein from the complement regulatory protein family. Alongside its role in complement activation, CD46 is involved in many other processes, from T-cell activation to reproduction. It is also referred to as a pathogen magnet, because it is used as a receptor by multiple bacteria and viruses. Bovine CD46 (bovCD46) in particular is involved in bovine viral diarrhoea virus entry, an economically important disease in cattle industries. This study presents the X-ray crystallographic structure of the extracellular region of bovCD46, revealing a four-short-consensus-repeat (SCR) structure similar to that in human CD46. SCR1-3 are arranged linearly, while SCR 4 has a reduced interface angle, resulting in a hockey stick-like appearance. The structure also reveals the bovine viral diarrhoea virus interaction site in SCR1, which is likely to confer pestivirus specificity for their target host, CD46. Insights gained from the structural information on pestivirus receptors, such as CD46, could offer valuable guidance for future control strategies.

Original publication




Journal article





Publication Date





1424 - 1424