[Source: Journal of Virology, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
Mutation W222L at the receptor binding site of hemagglutinin could facilitate viral adaption from equine influenza A(H3N8) virus to dogs
Feng Wen a, Sherry Blackmon a, Alicia K. Olivier b, Lei Li c, Minhui Guan a, Hailiang Sun a, Peng George Wang c and Xiu-Feng Wan a*
Author Affiliations: a Department of Basic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762 USA; b Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762 USA; c Department of Chemistry, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303 USA
An outbreak of respiratory disease caused by the equine-origin influenza A(H3N8) virus was first detected in dogs in 2004 and since then, has been enzootic among dogs. Currently, the molecular mechanisms underlying host adaption of this virus from horses to dogs is unknown. Here, we have applied quantitative binding, growth kinetics, and immunofluorescence analyses to elucidate these mechanisms. Our findings suggest that a substituation of W222L in the hemagglutinin of the equine-origin A(H3N8) virus facilitated its host adaption to dogs. This mutation increased binding avidity of the virus specifically to receptor glycans with N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) and sialyl Lewis X (SLeX) motifs. We’ve demonstrated these motifs are abundantly located in the submucosal glands of dog trachea. Our findings also suggest that in addition to the type of glycosidic linkage (e.g., α 2,3-linkage or α2,6-linkage), the type of sialic acid (Neu5Gc or 5-N-acetyl neuraminic acid) and the glycan substructure (e.g., SLeX) also play an important role in host tropism of influenza A viruses.
Influenza A viruses (IAVs) cause a significant burden on human and animal health, and mechanisms for interspecies transmission of IAVs are far from being understood. Findings from this study suggest that an equine-origin A(H3N8) IAV with mutation W222L at its hemagglutinin increased binding to canine-specific receptors with sialyl Lewis X and Neu5Gc motifs and, thereby, may have facilitated viral adaption from horses to dogs. These findings suggest that in addition to the glycosidic linkage (e.g., α2,3-linked and α2,6-linked), the substructure in the receptor saccharides (e.g., sialyl Lewis X and Neu5Gc) could present an interspecies transmission barrier for IAVs and drive viral mutations to overcome such barriers.
*Correspondence: Dr. Xiu-Feng Wan by firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Keywords: Equine Influenza; Canine Influenza; H3N8; Dogs.