Complete-Proteome Mapping of Human Influenza A Adaptive Mutations: Implications for Human Transmissibility of Zoonotic Strains

Centre for Genomics and Global Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 02/2010; 5(2):e9025. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009025
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT There is widespread concern that H5N1 avian influenza A viruses will emerge as a pandemic threat, if they become capable of human-to-human (H2H) transmission. Avian strains lack this capability, which suggests that it requires important adaptive mutations. We performed a large-scale comparative analysis of proteins from avian and human strains, to produce a catalogue of mutations associated with H2H transmissibility, and to detect their presence in avian isolates.
We constructed a dataset of influenza A protein sequences from 92,343 public database records. Human and avian sequence subsets were compared, using a method based on mutual information, to identify characteristic sites where human isolates present conserved mutations. The resulting catalogue comprises 68 characteristic sites in eight internal proteins. Subtype variability prevented the identification of adaptive mutations in the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase proteins. The high number of sites in the ribonucleoprotein complex suggests interdependence between mutations in multiple proteins. Characteristic sites are often clustered within known functional regions, suggesting their functional roles in cellular processes. By isolating and concatenating characteristic site residues, we defined adaptation signatures, which summarize the adaptive potential of specific isolates. Most adaptive mutations emerged within three decades after the 1918 pandemic, and have remained remarkably stable thereafter. Two lineages with stable internal protein constellations have circulated among humans without reassorting. On the contrary, H5N1 avian and swine viruses reassort frequently, causing both gains and losses of adaptive mutations.
Human host adaptation appears to be complex and systemic, involving nearly all influenza proteins. Adaptation signatures suggest that the ability of H5N1 strains to infect humans is related to the presence of an unusually high number of adaptive mutations. However, these mutations appear unstable, suggesting low pandemic potential of H5N1 in its current form. In addition, adaptation signatures indicate that pandemic H1N1/09 strain possesses multiple human-transmissibility mutations, though not an unusually high number with respect to swine strains that infected humans in the past. Adaptation signatures provide a novel tool for identifying zoonotic strains with the potential to infect humans.


Available from: Vladimir Brusic, Jun 08, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We tested the biological significance of two amino acid mutations in the PB2 protein (glutamic acid to lysine at position 627 and aspartic acid to asparagine at position 701) of A(H7N9) viruses for mammalian adaptation. Mutants were assessed for their viral polymerase activities, growth kinetics in mammalian and avian cells, and pathogenicity in mice. We found that lysine at position 627 and asparagine at position 701 in PB2 are essential for mammalian adaptation of A(H7N9) viruses.
    Scientific Reports 01/2015; 5:8039. DOI:10.1038/srep08039 · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viruses have caused outbreaks among poultry worldwide, resulting in sporadic infections in humans, approximately 60% mortality of which have been fatal. However, efficient transmission of H5N1 viruses among humans has yet to occur, suggesting that further adaptation of H5N1 viruses to humans is required for their efficient transmission among humans. Viral determinants for efficient replication in humans are currently poorly understood. Here, we report that the polymerase PB2 protein of an H5N1 influenza virus isolated from a human in Vietnam (A/Vietnam/UT36285/2010, 36285) increased the growth ability of an avian H5N1 virus (A/wild bird/Anhui/82/2005, Wb/AH82) in human lung epithelial A549 cells (although, the reassortant virus did not replicate more efficiently than human 36285 virus). Furthermore, we demonstrate that amino acid residues at positions 249, 309, and 339 of the PB2 protein from this human isolate were responsible for its efficient replication in A549 cells. PB2-249G and 339M, which are found in the human H5N1 virus, are rare in H5N1 viruses from both human and avian sources. Interestingly, PB2-249G is found in over 30% of human seasonal H3N2 viruses, which suggests that H5N1 viruses may replicate well in human cells when they acquire this mutation. Our data are of value to H5N1 virus surveillance. Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viruses must acquire mutations to overcome the species barrier between avian species and humans. When H5N1 viruses replicate in human respiratory cells, they can acquire amino acid mutations that allow them to adapt to humans through continuous selective pressure. Several amino acid mutations have been shown to be advantageous for virus adaptation to mammalian hosts. Here, we found that amino acid changes at positions 249, 309, and 339 of PB2 contribute to efficient replication of avian H5N1 viruses in human lung cells. These findings are beneficial for evaluating the pandemic risk of circulating avian viruses and for further functional analysis of PB2. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    Journal of Virology 01/2015; 89(7). DOI:10.1128/JVI.03328-14 · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Animal production and health (APH) is an important sector in the world economy, representing a large proportion of the budget of all member states in the European Union and in other continents. APH is a highly competitive sector with a strong emphasis on innovation and, albeit with country to country variations, on scientific research. Proteomics (the study of all proteins present in a given tissue or fluid - i.e. the proteome) has an enormous potential when applied to APH. Nevertheless, for a variety of reasons and in contrast to disciplines such as plant sciences or human biomedicine, such potential is only now being tapped. To counter such limited usage, 6 years ago we created a consortium dedicated to the applications of Proteomics to APH, specifically in the form of a Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action, termed FA1002 - Proteomics in Farm Animals: In 4 years, the consortium quickly enlarged to a total of 31 countries in Europe, as well as Israel, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. This article has a triple purpose. First, we aim to provide clear examples on the applications and benefits of the use of proteomics in all aspects related to APH. Second, we provide insights and possibilities on the new trends and objectives for APH proteomics applications and technologies for the years to come. Finally, we provide an overview and balance of the major activities and accomplishments of the COST Action on Farm Animal Proteomics. These include activities such as the organization of seminars, workshops and major scientific conferences, organization of summer schools, financing Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) and the generation of scientific literature. Overall, the Action has attained all of the proposed objectives and has made considerable difference by putting proteomics on the global map for animal and veterinary researchers in general and by contributing significantly to reduce the East-West and North-South gaps existing in the European farm animal research. Future activities of significance in the field of scientific research, involving members of the action, as well as others, will likely be established in the future.
    animal 10/2014; 9(1). DOI:10.1017/S1751731114002602 · 1.78 Impact Factor