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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1983 Feb; 80(3): 840–844.
PMCID: PMC393476

Localization, synthesis, and activity of an antigenic site on influenza virus hemagglutinin.


This paper reports the antigenicity of the fusion region of the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA). Two peptides, comprising the fusion region (residues 1-11 of the HA2 part of HA) of strain A and strain B influenza virus, were synthesized and their abilities to bind rabbit, goat, and human anti-influenza antibodies were determined. In addition, 30 anti-HA monoclonal antibodies were examined for their ability to bind the synthetic peptides. In quantitative immunoadsorbent titrations, the two peptides bound considerable amounts of antibodies in rabbit and goat antisera against virus or HA of the A or B strain as well as in several human sera from patients recovering from influenza A. Of the 30 anti-HA monoclonal antibodies, 5 bound completely and 4 bound partially to the peptides. Antibodies were raised in rabbits against the peptides by immunizing with peptide-bovine serum albumin conjugates or with the free peptides. Anti-peptide antibodies were bound by HA and by the intact virus of the respective strain. However, these antisera failed to exhibit significant virus neutralizing activity. In contrast, the monoclonal antibodies that reacted with these peptides inhibited viral infectivity. The results clearly show that residues 1-11 of HA2 represent an important antigenic site on influenza virus.

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