[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza is a severe disease in humans and animals with few effective therapies available. All strains of influenza virus are prone to developing drug resistance due to the high mutation rate in the viral genome. A therapeutic agent that targets a highly conserved region of the virus could bypass resistance and also be effective against multiple strains of influenza. Influenza uses many individually weak ligand-binding interactions for a high-avidity multivalent attachment to sialic acid-bearing cells. Polymerized sialic acid analogs can form multivalent interactions with influenza, but are not ideal therapeutics due to solubility and toxicity issues. We used liposomes as a novel means for delivery of the glycan sialylneolacto-N-tetraose c (LSTc). LSTc-bearing decoy liposomes form multivalent, polymer-like interactions with influenza virus. Decoy liposomes competitively bind influenza virus in hemagglutination inhibition assays and inhibit infection of target cells in a dose-dependent manner. Inhibition is specific for influenza virus, as inhibition of Sendai virus and respiratory syncytial virus is not observed. In contrast, monovalent LSTc does not bind influenza virus or inhibit infectivity. LSTc decoy liposomes prevent the spread of influenza virus during multiple rounds of replication in vitro and extend survival of mice challenged with a lethal dose of virus. LSTc decoy liposomes co-localize with fluorescently tagged influenza virus, while control liposomes do not. Considering the conservation of the hemagglutinin binding pocket and the ability of decoy liposomes to form high avidity interactions with influenza hemagglutinin, our decoy liposomes have potential as a new therapeutic agent against emerging influenza strains.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The glycoprotein HA (haemagglutinin) on the surface of influenza A virus plays a central role in recognition and binding to specific host cell-surface glycan receptors and in fusion of viral membrane to the host nuclear membrane during viral replication. Given the abundance of HA on the viral surface, this protein is also the primary target for host innate and adaptive immune responses. Although addition of glycosylation sites on HA are a part of viral evolution to evade the host immune responses, there are specific glycosylation sites that are conserved during most of the evolution of the virus. In the present study, it was demonstrated that one such conserved glycosylation site at Asn(91) in H1N1 HA critically governs the glycan receptor-binding specificity and hence would potentially impinge on the host adaptation of the virus.