Intergenic HA-NA interactions in influenza A virus: postreassortment substitutions of charged amino acid in the hemagglutinin of different subtypes

Virus Res. 2000 Feb;66(2):123-9. doi: 10.1016/s0168-1702(99)00131-8.


In our previous studies influenza A virus reassortants having neuraminidase (NA) gene of A/USSR/90/77 (H1N1) strain and hemagglutinin (HA) genes of H3, H4 and H13 subtypes were shown to produce a low virus yield and to exhibit a strong tendency to virion aggregation. More detailed studies with the use of a H3N1 reassortant and its high-yield non-aggregating variants revealed that NA of A/USSR/90/77 strain is inefficient in the removal of the terminal sialic acid residues from the virion components, and that the inefficiency of NA may be compensated by mutations in HA gene leading to a decrease of the receptor-binding affinity (Kaverin, N.V. , Gambaryan, A.S., Bovin, N.V., Rudneva, I.A., Shilov, A.A., Khodova, O.M., Varich, N.L., Sinitsin, B.V., Makarova, N.L., Kaverin, N.V., 1998. Postreassortment changes in influenza virus hemagglutinin restoring HA-NA functional match, Virology 244, 315-321). The present report describes studies performed with the use of H2N1 and H4N1 reassortants having HA genes of A/Pintail/Primorie/695/76 (H2N3) and A/Duck/Czechoslovakia/56 (H4N6) strains respectively and NA gene of A/USSR/90/77 strain. The low-yield reassortants and their high-yield non-aggregating variants were studied in both direct and competitive binding assays with sialic acid-containing substrates. The non-aggregating variants were shown to have a decreased affinity as compared to the initial reassortants toward high-molecular-weight sialic acid-containing substrates. The sequencing of HA genes revealed that all non-aggregating variants of H2N1 and H4N1 reassortants had amino acid substitutions increasing the negative charge of the HA molecule in the vicinity of the receptor-binding pocket. The results suggest that the influenza virus reassortants containing low-functional NA undergo similar postreassortment changes irrespective of the HA subtype: their receptor-binding activity decreased due to negatively charged amino acid substitutions in the vicinity of the receptor-binding pocket.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Hemagglutinins / genetics*
  • Influenza A virus / chemistry
  • Influenza A virus / genetics*
  • Influenza A virus / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid / chemistry
  • Neuraminidase / genetics*
  • Reassortant Viruses / chemistry
  • Reassortant Viruses / genetics*
  • Reassortant Viruses / metabolism
  • Viral Proteins / genetics


  • Hemagglutinins
  • Viral Proteins
  • Neuraminidase
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid