Martin Crusat a , b , 1 , 2 , Junfeng Liu c , 2 , 3 , Angelina S. Palma d , e , 2 , Robert A. Childs d , 2 , Yan Liu d , 2 , Stephen A. Wharton c , Yi Pu Lin c , Peter J. Coombs c , 4 , Stephen R. Martin c , Mikhail Matrosovich f , Zi Chen c , 5 , David J. Stevens c , Vo Minh Hien g , Tran Tan Thanh a , Le Nguyen Truc Nhu a , Lam Anh Nguyet g , Do Quang Ha a , H.Rogier van Doorn a , Tran Tinh Hien g , Harald S. Conradt h , Makoto Kiso i , Steve J. Gamblin c , Wengang Chai d , John J. Skehel c , Alan J. Hay c , Jeremy Farrar a , j , Menno D. de Jong a , b , * , Ten Feizi d , **
1 December 2013
H5N1 influenza infection, Pyrosequencing, Hemagglutinin, Receptor specificity, Hemagglutination assays, Receptor binding, Carbohydrate microarray, Biolayer interferometry, Synthetic sialylglycopolymers, Hemagglutinin X-ray crystal structure
As avian influenza A(H5N1) viruses continue to circulate in Asia and Africa, global concerns of an imminent pandemic persist. Recent experimental studies suggest that efficient transmission between humans of current H5N1 viruses only requires a few genetic changes. An essential step is alteration of the virus hemagglutinin from preferential binding to avian receptors for the recognition of human receptors present in the upper airway. We have identified receptor-binding changes which emerged during H5N1 infection of humans, due to single amino acid substitutions, Ala134Val and Ile151Phe, in the hemagglutinin. Detailed biological, receptor-binding, and structural analyses revealed reduced binding of the mutated viruses to avian-like receptors, but without commensurate increased binding to the human-like receptors investigated, possibly reflecting a receptor-binding phenotype intermediate in adaptation to more human-like characteristics. These observations emphasize that evolution in nature of avian H5N1 viruses to efficient binding of human receptors is a complex multistep process.
Changes in receptor binding of HA during H5N1 human infection were identified.
Single A134V and L151F substitutions caused reduced affinity for avian receptors.
Glycan array analyses were used to identify changes in receptor binding specificity.
Structural basis for altered receptor binding was examined by X-ray crystallography.