CLN7/MFSD8 may be an important factor for SARS-CoV-2 cell entry

Elena Sofia Heinl, Sebastian Lorenz, Barbara Schmidt, Nouf Nasser M Laqtom, Joseph R. Mazzulli, Laetitia Francelle, Timothy W. Yu, Benjamin Greenberg, Stephan Storch, Ines Tegtmeier, Helga Othmen, Katja Maurer, Malin Steinfurth, Ralph Witzgall, Vladimir Milenkovic, Christian H. Wetzel, Markus Reichold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The SARS-CoV-2 virus has triggered a worldwide pandemic. According to the BioGrid database, CLN7 (MFSD8) is thought to interact with several viral proteins. The aim of this work was to investigate a possible involvement of CLN7 in the infection process. Experiments on a CLN7-deficient HEK293T cell line exhibited a 90% reduced viral load compared to wild-type cells. This observation may be linked to the finding that CLN7 ko cells have a significantly reduced GM1 content in their cell membrane. GM1 is found highly enriched in lipid rafts, which are thought to play an important role in SARS-CoV-2 infection. In contrast, overexpression of CLN7 led to an increase in viral load. This study provides evidence that CLN7 is involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection. This makes it a potential pharmacological target for drug development against COVID-19. Furthermore, it provides insights into the physiological function of CLN7 where still only little is known about.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105082
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 21 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell biology
  • Virology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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