New Insights into Measles Virus Brain Infections

Shumpei Watanabe, Yuta Shirogane, Yuma Sato, Takao Hashiguchi, Yusuke Yanagi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Measles virus (MeV) may persist in the brain, causing fatal neurodegenerative diseases, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, and measles inclusion-body encephalitis. However, the mechanism of MeV propagation in the brain remains unexplained because human neurons affected by the diseases do not express the known receptors for MeV. Recent studies have revealed that certain changes in the ectodomain of the MeV fusion (F) protein play a key role in MeV spread in the brain. These changes destabilize the prefusion form of the F protein and render it hyperfusogenic, which in turn allows the virus to propagate in neurons. Based on crystal structures of the F protein, effective fusion inhibitors could be developed to treat these diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-175
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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