Scavenger Receptors in the Pathogenesis of Viral Infections
Scavenger receptors (SR) are not only pattern recognition receptors involved in the immune response against pathogens but are also important receptors exploited by different virus to enter host cells, and thus represent targets for antiviral therapy. The high mutation rates of viruses, as well as their small genomes are partly responsible for the high rates of virus resistance and effective treatments remain a challenge. Most currently approved formulations target viral-encoded factors. Nevertheless, host proteins may function as additional targets. Thus, there is a need to explore and develop new strategies aiming at cellular factors involved in virus replication and host cell entry. SR-virus interactions have implications in the pathogenesis of several viral diseases and in adenovirus-based vaccination and gene transfer technologies, and may function as markers of severe progression. Inhibition of SR could reduce adenoviral uptake and improve gene therapy and vaccination, as well as reduce pathogenesis. In this review, we will examine the crucial role of SR play in cell entry of different types of human virus, which will allow us to further understand their role in protection and pathogenesis and its potential as antiviral molecules. The recent discovery of SR-B1 as co-factor of SARS-Cov-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) entry is also discussed. Further fundamental research is essential to understand molecular interactions in the dynamic virus-host cell interplay through SR for rational design of therapeutic strategies.