Journal article

A single mutation in Taiwanese H6N1 influenza hemagglutinin switches binding to human-type receptors.

Robert P de Vries, Netanel Tzarum, Wenjie Peng, Andrew J Thompson, Iresha N Ambepitiya Wickramasinghe, Alba T Torrents de la Pena, Marielle J van Breemen, Kim M Bouwman, Xueyong Zhu, Ryan McBride, Wenli Yu, Rogier W Sanders, Monique H Verheije, Ian A Wilson, James C Paulson

EMBO Molecular Medicine | Published : 2017

Abstract

In June 2013, the first case of human infection with an avian H6N1 virus was reported in a Taiwanese woman. Although this was a single non-fatal case, the virus continues to circulate in Taiwanese poultry. As with any emerging avian virus that infects humans, there is concern that acquisition of human-type receptor specificity could enable transmission in the human population. Despite mutations in the receptor-binding pocket of the human H6N1 isolate, it has retained avian-type (NeuAcα2-3Gal) receptor specificity. However, we show here that a single nucleotide substitution, resulting in a change from Gly to Asp at position 225 (G225D), completely switches specificity to human-type (NeuAcα2-6..

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