The ephrin receptor tyrosine kinase A2 (EphA2) is an entry receptor for Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) that is engaged by the virus through its gH/gL glycoprotein complex. We describe here that natural ephrin ligands inhibit the gH/gLEphA2 interaction. The effects of point mutations within EphA2 demonstrated that KSHV gH/gL interacts with EphA2 through a restricted set of the same residues that mediate binding of A-type ephrins. Two previously described inhibitors of the EphA2 interaction with ephrin A5 also inhibited binding of KSHV gH/gL to EphA2. The more potent of the two compounds inhibited KSHV infection of blood vessel and lymphatic endothelial cells in the micromolar concentration range. Our results demonstrate that interaction of KSHV with EphA2 occurs in a fashion similar to that of the natural ephrin ligands. Our data further indicate a new avenue for drug development against KSHV.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science