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Virus Genes. 2002;24(1):57-63.

Sequence similarities and evolutionary relationships of influenza virus A hemagglutinins.

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Department of Biophysics and Chemical Physics, Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia.


This study brings the analysis of amino acid sequences of hemagglutinin (HA) from the influenza virus A that can infect a wide variety of birds and mammals. 191 sequences belonging to all known 15 HA subtypes were compared. The emphasis was given on functional sites (receptor-binding cavity with its right and left edges) and degree of their conservation in each subtype. Three evolutionary trees of 15 avian HA representatives were constructed: one tree based on the alignment of the entire HA sequences and two trees based on the alignment of HA1 and HA2 chains, respectively. The results have shown that, despite low degree of sequence similarity among the 191 sequences of HA1 subunit, the active site is well conserved, and that there are only marginal differences in the clustering of the individual HA subtypes between the two subunit trees. In this respect, the subtype H9 seems to be the most fluctuating example. The proposals of the probable avian HAs that could be the closest relatives to human (mammalian) HAs were also provided for several HA subtypes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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