Biochemistry (Moscow)

, 76:958 | Cite as

Galectins promote the interaction of influenza virus with its target cell

  • E. S. Chernyy
  • E. M. Rapoport
  • S. Andre
  • H. Kaltner
  • H. -J. Gabius
  • N. V. BovinEmail author


Influenza virus is known to bind sialoglycans located on the surface of the host cell. In addition, recent data suggest the involvement of other molecular targets in viral reception. Of note, a high density of terminal galactose residues is created on the surface of virions because of the influenza virus’ own neuraminidase activity. Thus, we suggested the possibility for an interaction of the influenza virus with galactose-binding proteins — galectins. In the present work we studied the influence of several galectins on the adhesion and further internalization of virus into the cell; six virus strains and three cell lines were studied. Chicken galectins CG-1A and -2 as well as human galectins HGal-1 and -8 promote virus binding in dose dependent manner, but they do not influence the internalization stage. Also, galectins are able to restore the ability of influenza virus to infect desialylated cells up to the level of native cells. When CG-1A in physiological concentrations was loaded onto viruses, the adhesion level was higher than in the case of on-cell loading. The effect of adhesion increase depends on the glycan structure of target-cell as well as of virus. The aggregated data suggest a promotional effect of galectins during the stage of influenza virus binding with the surface of target-cell.

Key words

influenza virus galectins glycans 



bovine serum albumin


virus passaged in chicken embryos


chicken galectins


fluorescein isothiocyanate




human galectins


virus passaged in MDCK (Madin-Darby Canine Kidney) cells




N-acetyl-neuraminic acid


phosphate buffered saline containing 0.2% BSA


phosphate buffered saline


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. S. Chernyy
    • 1
  • E. M. Rapoport
    • 1
  • S. Andre
    • 2
  • H. Kaltner
    • 2
  • H. -J. Gabius
    • 2
  • N. V. Bovin
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic ChemistryRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Institute of Physiological Chemistry, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineLudwig Maximilians UniversityMunichGermany

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