Experimental evolution of human influenza virus H3 hemagglutinin in the mouse lung identifies adaptive regions in HA1 and HA2.
ABSTRACT The genetic basis for virulence and host switching in influenza A viruses (FLUAV) is largely unknown. Because the hemagglutinin (HA) protein is a determinant of these properties, HA evolution was mapped in an experimental model of mouse lung adaptation. Variants of prototype A/Hong Kong/1/68 (H3N2) (wild-type [wt] HK) human virus were selected in both longitudinal and parallel studies of lung adaptation. Mapping of HA mutations found in 11 independently derived mouse-adapted populations of wt HK identified 27 mutations that clustered within two distinct regions in or near the globular frameworks of the HA1 and HA2 subunits. The adaptive mutations demonstrated multiple instances of convergent evolution involving four amino acid positions (162, 210, and 218 in HA1 and 154 in HA2). By use of reverse genetics, convergent HA mutations were shown to affect cell tropism by enhancing infection and replication in primary mouse tracheal epithelial cells in vitro and mouse lung tissue in vivo. Adaptive HA mutations were multifunctional, affecting both median pH of fusion and receptor specificity. Specific mutations within both adaptive regions were shown to increase virulence in a mouse lung model. The occurrence of mutations in the HA1 and HA2 adaptive regions of natural FLUAV host range and virulent variants of avian and mammalian viruses is discussed. This study has identified adaptive sites and regions within the HA1 and HA2 subunits that may guide future studies of viral adaptation and evolution in nature.
Article: Molecular determinants within the surface proteins involved in the pathogenicity of H5N1 influenza viruses in chickens.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Although it is established that the cleavage site and glycosylation patterns in the hemagglutinin (HA) play important roles in determining the pathogenicity of H5 avian influenza viruses, some viruses exist that are not highly pathogenic despite possessing the known characteristics of high pathogenicity (i.e., their HA contains multiple basic amino acids at the cleavage site and has glycosylation patterns similar to that of the highly pathogenic H5 viruses). Currently little is known about the H5N1 viruses that fall into this intermediate category of pathogenicity. We have identified strains of H5N1 avian influenza viruses that have markers typical of high pathogenicity but distinctly differ in their ability to cause disease and death in chickens. By analyzing viruses constructed by reverse-genetic methods and containing recombinant HAs, we established that amino acids 97, 108, 126, 138, 212, and 217 of HA, in addition to those within the cleavage site, affect pathogenicity. Further investigation revealed that an additional glycosylation site within the neuraminidase (NA) protein globular head contributed to the high virulence of the H5N1 virus. Our findings are in agreement with previous observations that suggest that the activities of the HA and NA proteins are functionally linked.Journal of Virology 10/2004; 78(18):9954-64. · 5.40 Impact Factor