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Schizophr Bull. 2014 Mar;40(2):362-75. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbs197. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

Peptide sharing between influenza A H1N1 hemagglutinin and human axon guidance proteins.

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  • 1To whom correspondence should be addressed; tel: +39.080.544.3321, fax: +39.080.544.3317, e-mail: dkanduc@gmail.com.

Abstract

Epidemiologic data suggest that maternal microbial infections may cause fetal neurodevelopmental disorders, potentially increasing susceptibility to heavy psychopathologies such as schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, autism, pervasive developmental disorders, bipolar disorders, psychosis, epilepsy, language and speech disorders, and cognitive impairment in adult offspring. However, the molecular pathomechanisms underlying such a relationship are not clear. Here we analyze the potential role of the maternal immune response to viral infection in determining fetal brain injuries that increase the risk of neurological disorders in the adult. We use influenza infection as a disease model and human axon guidance pathway, a key process in the formation of neural network during midgestation, as a potential fetal target of immune insults. Specifically, we examined influenza A H1N1 hemagglutinin (HA), an antigenic viral protein, for amino acid sequence similarity to a random library of 188 axon guidance proteins. We obtain the results that (1) contrary to any theoretical expectations, 45 viral pentapeptide matches are distributed throughout a subset of 36 guidance molecules; (2) in 24 guidance proteins, the peptide sharing with HA antigen involves already experimentally validated influenza HA epitopes; and (3) most of the axon guidance vs HA peptide overlap is conserved among influenza A viral strains and subsets. Taken together, our data indicate that immune cross-reactivity between influenza HA and axon guidance molecules is possible and may well represent a pathologic mechanism capable of determining neurodevelopmental disruption in the fetus.

KEYWORDS:

autism; bipolar disorder; hemagglutinin; immune cross-reactivity; influenza A H1N1 virus; schizophrenia

PMID:
23378012
[PubMed - in process]
PMCID:
PMC3932078
[Available on 2015/3/1]
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