Use of influenza C virus for detection of 9-O-acetylated sialic acids on immobilized glycoconjugates by esterase activity

Eur J Biochem. 1992 Feb 15;204(1):209-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-1033.1992.tb16626.x.


An overlay and a solid-phase assay are presented which allow the specific detection of 9-O-acetylated sialic acids on sialoglycoconjugates immobilized on microtiter plates, nitrocellulose or separated on thin-layer chromatograms. The assay takes advantage of two different biological properties of influenza C virus, its high-affinity binding to 9-O-acetylated sialic acids and its sialate 9-O-acetylesterase that is used for detection of bound virus with fluorogenic or chromogenic substrates. Though simple and rapid, the assay is highly sensitive with a detection limit of 65 fmol 9-O-acetylated sialic acid in 9-O-acetylated ganglioside GD1a. Influenza C virus is able to bind to a wide spectrum of sialoglycoconjugates like mucins, serum glycoproteins or gangliosides containing naturally or synthetically O-acetylated sialic acids. 9-O-Acetyl-N-glycoloylneuraminic acid can also function as a high-affinity receptor determinant for influenza C virus. While the acetyl ester at the 9 position is essential for virus binding in all cases, a 4-O-acetyl group is not recognized. In addition to alpha(2.3) or alpha(2.6) bonds, 9-O-acetyl-N-acetylneuraminic acid in alpha(2.8) linkage to N-acetylneuraminic acid is also functionally active.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylesterase
  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Cattle
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer
  • Gangliosides / chemistry
  • Glycoconjugates / analysis*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Humans
  • Influenzavirus C / enzymology
  • Influenzavirus C / metabolism*
  • Mucins / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Sialic Acids / analysis*
  • Sialic Acids / metabolism
  • Submandibular Gland / chemistry


  • Gangliosides
  • Glycoconjugates
  • Mucins
  • Sialic Acids
  • 9-O-acetyl-N-acetylneuraminic acid
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases
  • Acetylesterase
  • sialate O-acetylesterase