Influenza C virus hemagglutinin: Comparison with influenza A and B virus hemagglutinins

S. Nakada, R. S. Creager, M. Krystal, R. P. Aaronson, P. Palese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The complete nucleotide sequence of the influenza C/California/78 virus RNA 4 was obtained by using cloned cDNA derived from the RNA segment. This gene is 2,071 nucleotides long and can code for a polypeptide of 654 amino acids. Although there are no convincing sequence homologies between RNA 4 and the hemagglutinin genes of influenza A and B viruses, we suggest, on the basis of structural features, that RNA 4 of the influenza C virus codes for the hemagglutinin. The structural features which are common to the hemagglutinins of influenza A, B, and C viruses include (i) a hydrophobic signal peptide, (ii) an arginine cleavage site between the hemagglutinin 1 and 2 subunits, (iii) hydrophobic regions at the amino and carboxyl termini of the hemagglutinin 2 subunit, and (iv) several conserved cysteine residues. Additional evidence that RNA 4 of influenza C virus codes for the hemagglutinin is that the tripeptide Ile-Phe-Gly, known to be present at the amino terminus of the hemagglutinin 2 subunit of influenza C virus, is encoded by RNA 4 at a point immediately adjacent to the presumptive arginine cleavage site. The lack of primary sequence homology between the influenza C virus hemagglutinin and the influenza A or B virus hemagglutinins, which all have similar functions, might be attributed to convergent rather than divergent evolution. However, the structural similarities among the influenza A, B, and C virus hemagglutinins strongly suggest that the three hemagglutinin genes have diverged from a common precursor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-124
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1984


Dive into the research topics of 'Influenza C virus hemagglutinin: Comparison with influenza A and B virus hemagglutinins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this