2Institute of Physiological Chemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig Maximilians University, Veterinar str. 13, 80539 Munich, Germany
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received January 31, 2011; Revision received March 21, 2011
Influenza virus is known to bind sialoglycans located on the surface of the host cell. In addition, recent data suggest the involvement of other molecular targets in viral reception. Of note, a high density of terminal galactose residues is created on the surface of virions because of the influenza virus’ own neuraminidase activity. Thus, we suggested the possibility for an interaction of the influenza virus with galactose-binding proteins – galectins. In the present work we studied the influence of several galectins on the adhesion and further internalization of virus into the cell; six virus strains and three cell lines were studied. Chicken galectins CG-1A and -2 as well as human galectins HGal-1 and -8 promote virus binding in dose dependent manner, but they do not influence the internalization stage. Also, galectins are able to restore the ability of influenza virus to infect desialylated cells up to the level of native cells. When CG-1A in physiological concentrations was loaded onto viruses, the adhesion level was higher than in the case of on-cell loading. The effect of adhesion increase depends on the glycan structure of target-cell as well as of virus. The aggregated data suggest a promotional effect of galectins during the stage of influenza virus binding with the surface of target-cell.
KEY WORDS: influenza virus, galectins, glycans