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: 3.23). 02/2010; 5(2):e9025. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009025
Source: PubMed


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.

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Available from: Vladimir Brusic, Oct 07, 2015
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    • "Alteration of viral surface proteins to recognize a range of host receptors is the strategy by which influenza increases its host range [2], [14]. Interestingly, despite its complexity, recent studies shows that a few amino acid substitutions (4–5) has the potential of altering A/Indonesia/5/2005 avian A/H5N1 and A/Vietnam/1203/2004 A/H5N1 to be transmissible between ferrets via respiratory droplets [2], [17]–[19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The evolution of the influenza A virus to increase its host range is a major concern worldwide. Molecular mechanisms of increasing host range are largely unknown. Influenza surface proteins play determining roles in reorganization of host-sialic acid receptors and host range. In an attempt to uncover the physic-chemical attributes which govern HA subtyping, we performed a large scale functional analysis of over 7000 sequences of 16 different HA subtypes. Large number (896) of physic-chemical protein characteristics were calculated for each HA sequence. Then, 10 different attribute weighting algorithms were used to find the key characteristics distinguishing HA subtypes. Furthermore, to discover machine leaning models which can predict HA subtypes, various Decision Tree, Support Vector Machine, Naïve Bayes, and Neural Network models were trained on calculated protein characteristics dataset as well as 10 trimmed datasets generated by attribute weighting algorithms. The prediction accuracies of the machine learning methods were evaluated by 10-fold cross validation. The results highlighted the frequency of Gln (selected by 80% of attribute weighting algorithms), percentage/frequency of Tyr, percentage of Cys, and frequencies of Try and Glu (selected by 70% of attribute weighting algorithms) as the key features that are associated with HA subtyping. Random Forest tree induction algorithm and RBF kernel function of SVM (scaled by grid search) showed high accuracy of 98% in clustering and predicting HA subtypes based on protein attributes. Decision tree models were successful in monitoring the short mutation/reassortment paths by which influenza virus can gain the key protein structure of another HA subtype and increase its host range in a short period of time with less energy consumption. Extracting and mining a large number of amino acid attributes of HA subtypes of influenza A virus through supervised algorithms represent a new avenue for understanding and predicting possible future structure of influenza pandemics.
    PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e96984. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0096984 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "The route of vaccination is important in determining the immune response, as the initial site of pathogen invasion influences the efficacy of protection [16]. This vaccine is delivered through intranasal administration and allows elicitation of a long-lasting, broader immune (humoral and cellular) response, which more closely resembles natural immunity [17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Human influenza is a seasonal disease associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The most effective means for controlling infection and thereby reducing morbidity and mortality is vaccination with a three inactivated influenza virus strains mixture, or by intranasal administration of a group of three different live attenuated influenza vaccine strains. Comparing to the inactivated vaccine, the attenuated live viruses allow better elicitation of a long-lasting and broader immune (humoral and cellular) response that represents a naturally occurring transient infection. The cold-adapted (ca) influenza A/AA/6/60 (H2N2) (AA ca) virus is the backbone for the live attenuated trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine licensed in the United States. Similarly, the influenza A components of live-attenuated vaccines used in Russia have been prepared as reassortants of the cold-adapted (ca) H2N2 viruses, A/Leningrad/134/17/57-ca (Len/17) and A/Leningrad/134/47/57-ca (Len/47) along with virulent epidemic strains. However, the mechanism of temperature-sensitive attenuation is largely elusive. To understand how modification at genetic level of influenza virus would result in attenuation of human influenza virus A/PR/8/34 (H1N1,A/PR8), we investigated the involvement of key mutations in the PB1 and/or PB2 genes in attenuation of influenza virus in vitro and in vivo. We have demonstrated that a few of residues in PB1 and PB2 are critical for the phenotypes of live attenuated, temperature sensitive influenza viruses by minigenome assay and real-time PCR. The information of these mutation loci could be used for elucidation of mechanism of temperature-sensitive attenuation and as a new strategy for influenza vaccine development.
    PLoS ONE 03/2013; 8(3):e60413. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0060413 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "However, restricted avian influenza virus polymerase activity could be overcome by a number of ostensibly nonrelated compensatory point-mutations in NEP, causing an increase in the accumulation of cRNPs (Figure 4) [25]. It is interesting to note that compensatory mutations occurred in both the N- and C-terminal domains of NEP and that NEP has previously been implicated in phylogenetic studies on host-range adaptation [61], [62]. In addition, mutations in NEP capable of enhancing the activity of avian-derived viral polymerases were found in several circulating influenza strains including the pandemic H1N1 strain [25]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Influenza virus is a major human and animal pathogen causing seasonal epidemics and occasional pandemics in the human population that are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Influenza A virus, a member of the orthomyxovirus family, contains an RNA genome with a coding capacity for a limited number of proteins. In addition to ensuring the structural integrity of virions, these viral proteins facilitate the replication of virus in the host cell. Consequently, viral proteins often evolve to perform multiple functions, the influenza A virus nuclear export protein (NEP) (also referred to as non-structural protein 2, or NS2) being an emerging example. NEP was originally implicated in mediating the nuclear export of viral ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes, which are synthesized in the infected cell nucleus and are assembled into progeny virions at the cell membrane. However, since then, new and unexpected roles for NEP during the influenza virus life cycle have started to emerge. These recent studies have shown NEP to be involved in regulating the accumulation of viral genomic vRNA and antigenomic cRNA as well as viral mRNA synthesized by the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Subsequently, this regulation of viral RNA transcription and replication by NEP was shown to be an important factor in the adaptation of highly pathogenic avian H5N1 influenza viruses to the mammalian host. Unexpectedly, NEP has also been implicated in recruiting a cellular ATPase to the cell membrane to aid the efficient release of budding virions. Accordingly, NEP is proposed to play multiple biologically important roles during the influenza virus life cycle.
    PLoS Pathogens 12/2012; 8(12):e1003019. DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003019 · 7.56 Impact Factor
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