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FEBS Lett. 1993 May 24;323(1-2):96-8.

A sialic acid analogue acting as a receptor determinant for binding but not for infection by influenza C virus.

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Institut f├╝r Biochemie II, Universit├Ąt Heidelberg, Germany.


We describe a synthetic sialic acid analogue, 9-thioacetamido-N-acetylneuraminic acid (9-thioacetamido-Neu5Ac), which is recognized by the receptor-binding activity of influenza C virus, but is resistant to the receptor-destroying enzyme (acetylesterase) of this virus. Following transfer of the analogue to the surface of receptor-negative cells, influenza C virus is able to attach to these cells, but is unable to infect the cells. This result suggests that inactivation of virus receptors by the receptor-destroying enzyme is essential for initiation of infection. Because of their unique properties such analogues promise to be powerful chemotherapeutic agents.

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