Combining molecular dynamics with bayesian analysis to predict and evaluate ligand-binding mutations in influenza hemagglutinin.
ABSTRACT: Influenza virus attaches to and infects target cells via binding of cell-surface glycans by the viral hemagglutinin. This binding specificity is considered a major reason why avian influenza is typically poorly transmitted between humans, while swine influenza is better transmitted due to glycan similarity between the human and swine upper respiratory tract. Predicting mutations that control glycan binding is thus important to continued surveillance against new pandemic influenza strains. We have designed a molecular-dynamics approach for scoring potential mutants with predictive power for both receptor-binding-domain and allosteric mutations similar to those identified from clinical isolates of avian influenza. We have performed thousands of simulations of 17 different hemagglutinin mutants totaling >1 ms in length and employ a bayesian model to rank mutations that disrupt the stability of the hemagglutinin-ligand complex. Based on our simulations, we predict a significantly increased k(off) for seven of these mutants. This means of using molecular dynamics analysis to make experimentally verifiable predictions offers a potentially general method to identify ligand-binding mutants, particularly allosteric ones. Our analysis of ligand dissociation provides a means to evaluate mutants prior to experimental mutagenesis and testing and constitutes an important step toward understanding the determinants of ligand binding by H5N1 influenza.
Project description:The glycan receptor binding and specificity of influenza A viral hemagglutinin (HA) are critical for virus infection and transmission in humans. However, ambiguities in the interpretation of the receptor binding specificity of hemagglutinin from human- and avian-adapted viruses have prevented an understanding of its relationship with aerosol transmissibility, an exclusive property of human-adapted viruses. A previous conformational study, which we performed, indicated that human and avian receptors sample distinct conformations in solution. On the basis of detailed nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies provided herein, we offer evidence of the distinct structural constraints imposed by hemagglutinin receptor binding sites on the glycan conformational space upon binding. The hemagglutinin from the SC18 virus, which has efficient aerosol transmissibility in humans (human-adapted), imposed the most stringent constraints on the conformational space of the human glycan receptor (LSTc), compared to single (NY18) or double (AV18) amino acid HA mutants, a property correlating to the ligand-HA binding strength. This relationship was also observed for the avian-adapted HA, where the high affinity binding partner, AV18, imposed the most stringent conformational constraints on the avian receptor, compared to those imposed by NY18. In particular, it is interesting to observe how different HAs when binding to human or avian glycosidic receptors impose significantly different conformational states, in terms of the states sampled by the glycosidic backbone and/or the entire molecule shape (linear or bent), when compared to the corresponding unbound glycans. Significantly, we delineate a "characteristic NMR signature" for the human adapted hemagglutinin (SC18) binding to human glycan receptors. Therefore, the conformational space constraints imposed by the hemagglutinin receptor binding site provide a characteristic signature that could be a useful tool for the surveillance of human adaptation of other (such as H7N9 and H5N1) deadly influenza viruses.
Project description:Avian H5N1 influenza viruses continue to spread in wild birds and domestic poultry with sporadic infection in humans. Receptor binding specificity changes are a prerequisite for H5N1 viruses and other zoonotic viruses to be transmitted among humans. Previous reported hemagglutinin (HA) mutants from ferret-transmissible H5N1 viruses of A/Vietnam/1203/2004 and A/Indonesia/5/2005 showed slightly increased, but still very weak, binding to human receptors. From mutagenesis and glycan array studies, we previously identified two H5N1 HA mutants that could more effectively switch receptor specificity to human-like ?2-6-linked sialosides with avidity comparable to wild-type H5 HA binding to avian-like ?2-3-linked sialosides. Here, crystal structures of these two H5 HA mutants free and in complex with human and avian glycan receptor analogs reveal the structural basis for their preferential binding to human receptors. These findings suggest continuous surveillance should be maintained to monitor and assess human-to-human transmission potential of H5N1 viruses.
Project description:After their disappearance from the human population in 1968, influenza H2 viruses have continued to circulate in the natural avian reservoir. The isolation of this virus subtype from multiple bird species as well as swine highlights the need to better understand the potential of these viruses to spread and cause disease in humans. Here we analyzed the virulence, transmissibility and receptor-binding preference of two avian influenza H2 viruses (H2N2 and H2N3) and compared them to a swine H2N3 (A/swine/Missouri/2124514/2006 [swMO]), and a human H2N2 (A/England/10/1967 [Eng/67]) virus using the ferret model as a mammalian host. Both avian H2 viruses possessed the capacity to spread efficiently between cohoused ferrets, and the swine (swMO) and human (Eng/67) viruses transmitted to naïve ferrets by respiratory droplets. Further characterization of the swMO hemagglutinin (HA) by x-ray crystallography and glycan microarray array identified receptor-specific adaptive mutations. As influenza virus quasispecies dynamics during transmission have not been well characterized, we sequenced nasal washes collected during transmission studies to better understand experimental adaptation of H2 HA. The avian H2 viruses isolated from ferret nasal washes contained mutations in the HA1, including a Gln226Leu substitution, which is a mutation associated with ?2,6 sialic acid (human-like) binding preference. These results suggest that the molecular structure of HA in viruses of the H2 subtype continue to have the potential to adapt to a mammalian host and become transmissible, after acquiring additional genetic markers.
Project description:Influenza viruses of the H2N2 subtype have not circulated among humans in over 40 years. The occasional isolation of avian H2 strains from swine and avian species coupled with waning population immunity to H2 hemagglutinin (HA) warrants investigation of this subtype due to its pandemic potential. In this study we examined the transmissibility of representative human H2N2 viruses, A/Albany/6/58 (Alb/58) and A/El Salvador/2/57 (ElSalv/57), isolated during the 1957/58 pandemic, in the ferret model. The receptor binding properties of these H2N2 viruses was analyzed using dose-dependent direct glycan array-binding assays. Alb/58 virus, which contains the 226L/228S amino acid combination in the HA and displayed dual binding to both alpha 2,6 and alpha 2,3 glycan receptors, transmitted efficiently to naïve ferrets by respiratory droplets. Inefficient transmission was observed with ElSalv/57 virus, which contains the 226Q/228G amino acid combination and preferentially binds alpha 2,3 over alpha 2,6 glycan receptors. However, a unique transmission event with the ElSalv/57 virus occurred which produced a 226L/228G H2N2 natural variant virus that displayed an increase in binding specificity to alpha 2,6 glycan receptors and enhanced respiratory droplet transmissibility. Our studies provide a correlation between binding affinity to glycan receptors with terminal alpha 2,6-linked sialic acid and the efficiency of respiratory droplet transmission for pandemic H2N2 influenza viruses.
Project description:Influenza A viruses can infect a wide variety of animal species and, occasionally, humans. Infection occurs through the binding formed by viral surface glycoprotein hemagglutinin and certain types of glycan receptors on host cell membranes. Studies have shown that the ?2,3-linked sialic acid motif (SA2,3Gal) in avian, equine, and canine species; the ?2,6-linked sialic acid motif (SA2,6Gal) in humans; and SA2,3Gal and SA2,6Gal in swine are responsible for the corresponding host tropisms. However, more detailed and refined substructures that determine host tropisms are still not clear. Thus, in this study, we applied association mining on a set of glycan microarray data for 211 influenza viruses from five host groups: humans, swine, canine, migratory waterfowl, and terrestrial birds. The results suggest that besides Neu5Ac?2-6Gal?, human-origin viruses could bind glycans with Neu5Ac?2-8Neu5Ac?2-8Neu5Ac and Neu5Gc?2-6Gal?1-4GlcNAc substructures; Gal? and GlcNAc? terminal substructures, without sialic acid branches, were associated with the binding of human-, swine-, and avian-origin viruses; sulfated Neu5Ac?2-3 substructures were associated with the binding of human- and swine-origin viruses. Finally, through three-dimensional structure characterization, we revealed that the role of glycan chain shapes is more important than that of torsion angles or of overall structural similarities in virus host tropisms.
Project description:Pigs are capable of harbouring influenza A viruses of human and avian origin in their respiratory tracts and thus act as an important intermediary host to generate novel influenza viruses with pandemic potential by genetic reassortment between the two viruses. Here, we show that two distinct H1N2 swine influenza viruses contain avian-like or classical swine-like hemagglutinins with polymerase acidic (PA) and nucleoprotein (NP) genes from 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza viruses that were found to be circulating in Korean pigs in 2018. Swine H1N2 influenza virus containing an avian-like hemagglutinin gene had enhanced pathogenicity, causing severe interstitial pneumonia in infected pigs and mice. The mortality rate of mice infected with swine H1N2 influenza virus containing an avian-like hemagglutinin gene was higher by 100% when compared to that of mice infected with swine H1N2 influenza virus harbouring classical swine-like hemagglutinin. Further, chemokines attracting inflammatory cells were strongly induced in lung tissues of pigs and mice infected by swine H1N2 influenza virus containing an avian-like hemagglutinin gene. In conclusion, it is necessary for the well-being of humans and pigs to closely monitor swine influenza viruses containing avian-like hemagglutinin with PA and NP genes from 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza viruses.
Project description:Recent cases of avian influenza H5N1 and the swine-origin 2009 H1N1 have caused a great concern that a global disaster like the 1918 influenza pandemic may occur again. Viral transmission begins with a critical interaction between hemagglutinin (HA) glycoprotein, which is on the viral coat of influenza, and sialic acid (SA) containing glycans, which are on the host cell surface. To elucidate the role of HA glycosylation in this important interaction, various defined HA glycoforms were prepared, and their binding affinity and specificity were studied by using a synthetic SA microarray. Truncation of the N-glycan structures on HA increased SA binding affinities while decreasing specificity toward disparate SA ligands. The contribution of each monosaccharide and sulfate group within SA ligand structures to HA binding energy was quantitatively dissected. It was found that the sulfate group adds nearly 100-fold (2.04 kcal/mol) in binding energy to fully glycosylated HA, and so does the biantennary glycan to the monoglycosylated HA glycoform. Antibodies raised against HA protein bearing only a single N-linked GlcNAc at each glycosylation site showed better binding affinity and neutralization activity against influenza subtypes than the fully glycosylated HAs elicited. Thus, removal of structurally nonessential glycans on viral surface glycoproteins may be a very effective and general approach for vaccine design against influenza and other human viruses.
Project description:Hemagglutinin (HA) binds to sialylated glycans exposed on the host cell surface in the initial stage of avian influenza virus infection. It has been previously hypothesized that glycan topology plays a critical role in the human adaptation of avian flu viruses, such as the potentially pandemic H5N1. Comparative molecular dynamics studies are complementary to experimental techniques, including glycan microarray, to understand the mechanism of species-specificity switch better. The examined systems comprise explicitly solvated trimeric forms of avian H3, H5, and swine H9 in complex with avian and human glycan receptor analogues--LSTa (alpha-2,3-linked lactoseries tetrasaccharide a) and LSTc (alpha-2,6-linked lactoseries tetrasaccharide c), respectively. The glycans adopted distinct topological profiles with inducible torsional angles when bound to different HAs. The corresponding receptor binding domain amino acid contact profiles were also distinct. Avian H5 was able to accommodate LSTc in a tightly "folded umbrella"-like topology through interactions with all five sugar residues. After considering conformational entropy, the relative binding free-energy changes, calculated using the molecular mechanics-generalized Born surface area technique, were in agreement with previous experimental findings and provided insights on electrostatic, van der Waals, desolvation, and entropic contributions to HA-glycan interactions. The topology profile and the relative abundance of free glycan receptors may influence receptor binding kinetics. Glycan composition and topological changes upon binding different HAs may be important determinants in species-specificity switch.
Project description:Influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) is the viral envelope protein that mediates viral attachment to host cells and elicits membrane fusion. The HA receptor-binding specificity is a key determinant for the host range and transmissibility of influenza viruses. In human pandemics of the 20th century, the HA normally has acquired specificity for human-like receptors before widespread infection. Crystal structures of the H1 HA from the 2009 human pandemic (A/California/04/2009 [CA04]) in complex with human and avian receptor analogs reveal conserved recognition of the terminal sialic acid of the glycan ligands. However, favorable interactions beyond the sialic acid are found only for ?2-6-linked glycans and are mediated by Asp190 and Asp225, which hydrogen bond with Gal-2 and GlcNAc-3. For ?2-3-linked glycan receptors, no specific interactions beyond the terminal sialic acid are observed. Our structural and glycan microarray analyses, in the context of other high-resolution HA structures with ?2-6- and ?2-3-linked glycans, now elucidate the structural basis of receptor-binding specificity for H1 HAs in human and avian viruses and provide a structural explanation for the preference for ?2-6 siaylated glycan receptors for the 2009 pandemic swine flu virus.
Project description:The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic is the first human pandemic in decades and was of swine origin. Although swine are believed to be an intermediate host in the emergence of new human influenza viruses, there is still little known about the host barriers that keep swine influenza viruses from entering the human population. We surveyed swine progenitors and human viruses from the 2009 pandemic and measured the activities of the hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA), which are the two viral surface proteins that interact with host glycan receptors. A functional balance of these two activities (HA binding and NA cleavage) is found in human viruses but not in the swine progenitors. The human 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus exhibited both low HA avidity for glycan receptors as a result of mutations near the receptor binding site and weak NA enzymatic activity. Thus, a functional match between the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase appears to be necessary for efficient transmission between humans and may be an indicator of the pandemic potential of zoonotic viruses.