Residue Y161 of influenza virus hemagglutinin is involved in viral recognition of sialylated complexes from different hosts

Minxiu Wang, Donna M. Tscherne, Christopher McCullough, Michael Caffrey, Adolfo García-Sastre, Lijun Rong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Influenza A virus glycoprotein hemagglutinin (HA) binds to host cell surface sialic acid (SA)-terminated sugars in glycoproteins to initiate viral entry. It is thought that avian influenza viruses preferentially bind to N-acetylneuraminic acid α3 (NeuAcα3) sugars, while human influenza viruses exhibit a preference for NeuAcα6-containing sugars. Thus, species-specific SA(s) is one of the determinants in viral host tropism. The SA binding pocket of the HA1 subunit has been extensively studied, and a number of residues important for receptor binding have been identified. In this study, we examined the potential roles of seven highly conserved HA surface-located amino acid residues in receptor binding and viral entry using an H5 subtype. Among them, mutant Y161A showed cell-type-dependent viral entry without obvious defects in HA protein expression or viral incorporation. This mutant also displayed dramatically different ability in agglutinating different animal erythrocytes. Oligosaccharide binding analysis showed that substituting alanine at Y161 of HA changed the SA binding preference from NeuAc to N-glycolylneuraminic acid (NeuGc). Rescued mutant Y161A viruses demonstrated a 5- to 10-fold growth defect, but they were robust in viral replication and plaque forming ability. Our results demonstrate that Y161 is a critical residue involved in recognition of different SA species. This residue may play a role in determining influenza virus host tropism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4455-4462
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume86
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

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