The sweet spot: defining virus-sialic acid interactions.

Stencel-Baerenwald JE, Reiss K, Reiter DM, Stehle T, Dermody TS
Nat Rev Microbiol. 2014 12 (11): 739-49

PMID: 25263223 · PMCID: PMC4791167 · DOI:10.1038/nrmicro3346

Viral infections are initiated by attachment of the virus to host cell surface receptors, including sialic acid-containing glycans. It is now possible to rapidly identify specific glycan receptors using glycan array screening, to define atomic-level structures of virus-glycan complexes and to alter the glycan-binding site to determine the function of glycan engagement in viral disease. This Review highlights general principles of virus-glycan interactions and provides specific examples of sialic acid binding by viruses with stalk-like attachment proteins, including influenza virus, reovirus, adenovirus and rotavirus. Understanding virus-glycan interactions is essential to combating viral infections and designing improved viral vectors for therapeutic applications.

MeSH Terms (12)

Animals Binding Sites Host-Pathogen Interactions Humans N-Acetylneuraminic Acid Polysaccharides Receptors, Cell Surface Receptors, Virus Species Specificity Virus Attachment Virus Diseases Viruses

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