Analysis of Hemagglutinin-Mediated Entry Tropism of H5N1 Avian Influenza
Avian influenza virus H5N1 is a major concern as a potential global pandemic. It is thought that multiple key events must take place before efficient human-to-human transmission of the virus occurs. The first step in overcoming host restriction is viral entry which is mediated by HA, responsible for both viral attachment and viral/host membrane fusion. HA binds to glycans-containing receptors with terminal sialic acid (SA). It has been shown that avian influenza viruses preferentially bind to α2,3-linked SAs, while human influenza A viruses exhibit a preference for α2,6-linked SAs. Thus it is believed the precise linkage of SAs on the target cells dictate host tropism of the viruses.
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Guo, Ying; Rumschlag-Booms, Emily; Wang, Jizhen; Xiao, Haixia; Yu, Jia; Wang, Jianwei; Guo, Li; Gao, George F.; Cao, Youjia; Caffrey, Michael; and Rong, Lijun, "Analysis of Hemagglutinin-Mediated Entry Tropism of H5N1 Avian Influenza" (2009). Biology Faculty Publications. 9.