An avian-origin human-infecting influenza (H7N9) virus was recently identified in China. We have evaluated the viral hemagglutinin (HA) receptor-binding properties of two human H7N9 isolates, A/Shanghai/1/2013 (SH-H7N9) (containing the avian-signature residue Gln226) and A/Anhui/1/2013 (AH-H7N9) (containing the mammalian-signature residue Leu 226). We found that SH-H7N9 HA preferentially binds the avian receptor analog, whereas AH-H7N9 HA binds both avian and human receptor analogs. Furthermore, an AH-H7N9 mutant HA (Leu226 ? Gln) was found to exhibit dual receptor-binding property, indicating that other amino acid substitutions contribute to the receptor-binding switch. The structures of SH-H7N9 HA, AH-H7N9 HA, and its mutant in complex with either avian or human receptor analogs show how AH-H7N9 can bind human receptors while still retaining the avian receptor-binding property.
|Publication status||Published - 2013|