Glycosylation and an amino acid insertion in the head of hemagglutinin independently affect the antigenic properties of H5N1 avian influenza viruses
Antigenic drift forces us to frequently update influenza vaccines; however, the genetic basis for antigenic variation remains largely unknown. In this study, we used clade 7.2 H5 viruses as models to explore the molecular determinants of influenza virus antigenic variation. We generated eight monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) targeted to the hemagglutinin (HA) protein of the index virus A/chicken/Shanxi/2/2006 and found that two representative antigenically drifted clade 7.2 viruses did not react with six of the eight MAbs. The E131N mutation and insertion of leucine at position 134 in the HA protein of the antigenically drifted strains eliminated the reactivity of the virus with the MAbs. We also found that the amino acid N131 in the H5 HA protein is glycosylated. Our results provide experimental evidence that glycosylation and an amino acid insertion or deletion in HA influence antigenic variation.
KeywordsInfluenza virus H5N1 antigenic variation genetic basis
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31521005, 31672593), the National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFD0500201, 2016YFD0500203), the China Agriculture Research System (CARS-41-G12), and by the Japan Initiative for Global Research Network on Infectious Diseases from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) of Japan.
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