Evolution of the Receptor Binding Properties of the Influenza A(H3N2) Hemagglutinin

Lin, Y.P., et al., 109(52), 21474-9, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2012

The influenza A (H3N2) virus was responsible for the 1968 influenza pandemic. In this fascinating study, the authors analyze the receptor binding characteristics of H3N2 hemagglutinin (HA) and correlate virus avidity changes over time with structural changes caused by mutations in HA. Their data show that the progressive decrease in binding of these viruses to human receptors between 2001 to 2010 correlates with changes in infectivity efficiency and specific structural changes. The Octet RED system was used to characterize virus binding to human and avian receptor analogs. Streptavidin biosensors were loaded with biotinylated α2,3- and α2,6-linked sialyl lactosamine sugars linked to polyacrylamide polymers. Virus binding to the sialyl lactosamine sugars was monitored to generate equilibrium binding curves.

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