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Genet Mol Res. 2012 Mar 16;11(1):636-43. doi: 10.4238/2012.March.16.1.

Hemagglutinin protein of Asian strains of human influenza virus A H1N1 binds to sialic acid--a major component of human airway receptors.

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Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Hemagglutinin (HA) protein plays an important role in binding the influenza virus to infected cells and therefore mediates infection. Deposited HA sequences of 86 Asian strains of influenza A (H1N1) viruses during the first outbreak were obtained from the NCBI database and compared. Interaction of the HA protein of influenza A (H1N1) virus with the human sialic acid receptor was also studied using bioinformatics. Overall, not more than three single-point amino acid variants/changes were observed in the HA protein region of influenza A (H1N1) virus from Asian countries when a selected group sequence comparison was made. The bioinformatics study showed that the HA protein of influenza A (H1N1) binds to the sialic acid receptor in human airway receptors, possibly key to air-borne infection in humans.

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