Motivation: Receptors on host cells play a critical role in viral infection. How phages select receptors is still unknown. Results: Here, we manually curated a high-quality database named phageReceptor, including 355 pairs of phage-host receptor interactions, 280 unique viral species or sub-species and 64 bacterial species. Sugars and proteins were most widely used by phages as receptors. The receptor usage of phages in Gram-positive bacteria was different from that in Gram-negative bacteria. Most protein receptors were located on the outer membrane. The protein receptors were highly diverse in their structures, and had little homology with mammalian virus receptors. Further functional characterization of phage protein receptors in Escherichia coli showed that they had larger node degrees and betweennesses in the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network, and higher expression levels, than other outer membrane proteins, plasma membrane proteins, or other intracellular proteins. These findings were consistent with what observed for mammalian virus receptors, suggesting that viral protein receptors play a central role in the host's PPI network. The study deepens our understanding of virus-host interactions. Availability: The database of phageReceptor is publicly accessible at http://www.computationalbiology.cn/viralRecepetor/index.html.
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