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      Glycan–protein interactions in viral pathogenesis

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          Highlights

          • Complex glycans play multifaceted roles in interplay between virus and its host.

          • Host glycans serve co-receptors or specific primary receptors for viral entry.

          • Viral glycan – host lectin or antibody interaction favors either virus or host.

          • This review covers role of glycan–protein interactions in viral pathogenesis.

          Abstract

          The surfaces of host cells and viruses are decorated by complex glycans, which play multifaceted roles in the dynamic interplay between the virus and the host including viral entry into host cell, modulation of proteolytic cleavage of viral proteins, recognition and neutralization of virus by host immune system. These roles are mediated by specific multivalent interactions of glycans with their cognate proteins (generally termed as glycan-binding proteins or GBPs or lectins). The advances in tools and technologies to chemically synthesize and structurally characterize glycans and glycan–GBP interactions have offered several insights into the role of glycan–GBP interactions in viral pathogenesis and have presented opportunities to target these interactions for novel antiviral therapeutic or vaccine strategies. This review covers aspects of role of host cell surface glycan receptors and viral surface glycans in viral pathogenesis and offers perspectives on how to employ various analytical tools to target glycan–GBP interactions.

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          Most cited references 83

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          Avian flu: influenza virus receptors in the human airway.

          Although more than 100 people have been infected by H5N1 influenza A viruses, human-to-human transmission is rare. What are the molecular barriers limiting human-to-human transmission? Here we demonstrate an anatomical difference in the distribution in the human airway of the different binding molecules preferred by the avian and human influenza viruses. The respective molecules are sialic acid linked to galactose by an alpha-2,3 linkage (SAalpha2,3Gal) and by an alpha-2,6 linkage (SAalpha2,6Gal). Our findings may provide a rational explanation for why H5N1 viruses at present rarely infect and spread between humans although they can replicate efficiently in the lungs.
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            Haemagglutinin mutations responsible for the binding of H5N1 influenza A viruses to human-type receptors.

            H5N1 influenza A viruses have spread to numerous countries in Asia, Europe and Africa, infecting not only large numbers of poultry, but also an increasing number of humans, often with lethal effects. Human and avian influenza A viruses differ in their recognition of host cell receptors: the former preferentially recognize receptors with saccharides terminating in sialic acid-alpha2,6-galactose (SAalpha2,6Gal), whereas the latter prefer those ending in SAalpha2,3Gal (refs 3-6). A conversion from SAalpha2,3Gal to SAalpha2,6Gal recognition is thought to be one of the changes that must occur before avian influenza viruses can replicate efficiently in humans and acquire the potential to cause a pandemic. By identifying mutations in the receptor-binding haemagglutinin (HA) molecule that would enable avian H5N1 viruses to recognize human-type host cell receptors, it may be possible to predict (and thus to increase preparedness for) the emergence of pandemic viruses. Here we show that some H5N1 viruses isolated from humans can bind to both human and avian receptors, in contrast to those isolated from chickens and ducks, which recognize the avian receptors exclusively. Mutations at positions 182 and 192 independently convert the HAs of H5N1 viruses known to recognize the avian receptor to ones that recognize the human receptor. Analysis of the crystal structure of the HA from an H5N1 virus used in our genetic experiments shows that the locations of these amino acids in the HA molecule are compatible with an effect on receptor binding. The amino acid changes that we identify might serve as molecular markers for assessing the pandemic potential of H5N1 field isolates.
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              Human and avian influenza viruses target different cells in the lower respiratory tract of humans and other mammals.

              Viral attachment to the host cell is critical for tissue and species specificity of virus infections. Recently, pattern of viral attachment (PVA) in human respiratory tract was determined for highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of subtype H5N1. However, PVA of human influenza viruses and other avian influenza viruses in either humans or experimental animals is unknown. Therefore, we compared PVA of two human influenza viruses (H1N1 and H3N2) and two low pathogenic avian influenza viruses (H5N9 and H6N1) with that of H5N1 virus in respiratory tract tissues of humans, mice, ferrets, cynomolgus macaques, cats, and pigs by virus histochemistry. We found that human influenza viruses attached more strongly to human trachea and bronchi than H5N1 virus and attached to different cell types than H5N1 virus. These differences correspond to primary diagnoses of tracheobronchitis for human influenza viruses and diffuse alveolar damage for H5N1 virus. The PVA of low pathogenic avian influenza viruses in human respiratory tract resembled that of H5N1 virus, demonstrating that other properties determine its pathogenicity for humans. The PVA in human respiratory tract most closely mirrored that in ferrets and pigs for human influenza viruses and that in ferrets, pigs, and cats for avian influenza viruses.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Curr Opin Struct Biol
                Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol
                Current Opinion in Structural Biology
                Published by Elsevier Ltd.
                0959-440X
                1879-033X
                25 October 2016
                October 2016
                25 October 2016
                : 40
                : 153-162
                Affiliations
                Department of Biological Engineering, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, United States
                Article
                S0959-440X(16)30167-1
                10.1016/j.sbi.2016.10.003
                5526076
                27792989
                © 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

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                Biophysics

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