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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Mar 1984; 81(6): 1779–1783.
PMCID: PMC345004

A carbohydrate side chain on hemagglutinins of Hong Kong influenza viruses inhibits recognition by a monoclonal antibody.


A single amino acid substitution, Asp-63 to Asn-63, was detected in the hemagglutinin of an antigenic variant of the 1968 Hong Kong (H3) influenza virus that was selected by growth of the wild-type virus in the presence of a monoclonal antibody. The mutation generates an oligosaccharide attachment site, Asn-Cys-Thr at residues 63-65, that is glycosylated. Immunoprecipitation experiments with extracts from variant virus-infected cells prepared in the presence or absence of tunicamycin, which inhibits glycosylation, demonstrate that addition of the new oligosaccharide side chain is required to prevent reaction with the monoclonal antibody. Similar experiments with the virus of the 1969 Hong Kong influenza epidemic, A/England/878/69, which also contains a hemagglutinin glycosylated at residue 63, support this conclusion and provide evidence for the epidemiological significance of carbohydrate-mediated modifications of hemagglutinin antigenicity.

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Selected References

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