Immunogenic structure of the influenza virus hemagglutinin

Cell. 1982 Mar;28(3):477-87. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(82)90202-1.


We chemically synthesized 20 peptides corresponding to 75% of the HA1 molecule of the influenza virus. Antibodies to the majority (18) of these peptides were capable of reacting with the hemagglutinin molecule. These 18 peptides are not confined to the known antigenic determinants of the hemagglutinin molecule, but rather are scattered throughout its three-dimensional structure. In contrast, antibody raised to intact hemagglutinin did not react with any of the 20 peptides. Taken together these results suggest that the immunogenicity of an intact protein molecule is not the sum of the immunogenicity of its pieces.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus
  • Hemagglutinins, Viral / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus / immunology*
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Peptides / chemical synthesis
  • Protein Conformation


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Epitopes
  • Glycoproteins
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus
  • Hemagglutinins, Viral
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Peptides