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A gel-capture assay for characterizing the sialyl-glycan selectivity of influenza viruses

journal contribution
posted on 2011-01-01, 00:00 authored by Tony Velkov, P Thompson, O El-Kabbani, F Lindh, John StambasJohn Stambas, S Rockman
Sialic acids (SA) usually linked to galactose (Gal) in an α2,6- or α2,3-configuration are considered the main cell receptors for influenza viruses, in particular for their hemagglutinins (HA). The typing of influenza virus HA receptor selectivity is relevant for understanding the transmissibility of avian and swine viruses to the human population. In this study we developed a simple and inexpensive gel-capture assay (GCA) of the influenza virus HA receptor-binding selectivity. Its principle is the binding of soluble influenza virus to pentasaccharide analogs, representatives of receptors of human and avian influenza viruses, immobilized on a gel resin. The human and avian analogs consisted of a sialyllactose-N-tetraose c (LSTc) [Neu5Ac(α2,6)Gal(β1-3)GlcNAc(β1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc] and a sialyllactose-N-tetraose a (LSTa) [Neu5Ac(α2,3)Gal(β1-3)GlcNAc(β1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc], respectively. Following equilibration, the unbound virus is washed away and the bound one is assayed via HA by densitometry as a function of the analog concentration. Using GCA, the receptor selectivity of three influenza viruses of different HA subtype was investigated. The results showed that the egg-adapted A/California/07/2009 (H1N1) virus exhibited an avian α2,3-linked LSTa selectivity, however, it retained the ability to bind to the α2,6-linked LSTc human receptor analog. Influenza B virus B/Florida/4/2006 showed α2,6-linked LSTc selectivity and a poor α2,3-linked LSTa avidity. The H3N2 virus A/Wisconsin/15/2009 displayed almost comparable avidity for both receptor analogs with a marginally greater α2,3-linked LSTa avidity. The described assay protocol provides a simple and rapid method for the characterization of influenza virus HA receptor binding selectivity. Keywords: influenza virus; hemagglutinin; receptor; sialyllactose-N-tetraose; gel-capture assay.



Acta virologica






131 - 137


Slovenska Akademia Vied * Virologicky Ustav


Bratislava, Slovakia





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2011, Slovenska Akademia Vied * Virologicky Ustav