Sialic Acid Receptors of Viruses

  • Mikhail Matrosovich
  • Georg Herrler
  • Hans Dieter Klenk
Part of the Topics in Current Chemistry book series (TOPCURRCHEM, volume 367)


Sialic acid linked to glycoproteins and gangliosides is used by many viruses as a receptor for cell entry. These viruses include important human and animal pathogens, such as influenza, parainfluenza, mumps, corona, noro, rota, and DNA tumor viruses. Attachment to sialic acid is mediated by receptor binding proteins that are constituents of viral envelopes or exposed at the surface of non-enveloped viruses. Some of these viruses are also equipped with a neuraminidase or a sialyl-O-acetyl-esterase. These receptor-destroying enzymes promote virus release from infected cells and neutralize sialic acid-containing soluble proteins interfering with cell surface binding of the virus. Variations in the receptor specificity are important determinants for host range, tissue tropism, pathogenicity, and transmissibility of these viruses.


Ganglioside Mucins Neuraminidase Receptor binding Receptor-destroying enzyme Sialate-O-acetylesterase Virus 



Our own recent studies were supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB 587, SFB 593, SFB 621 and SFB 1021), the Bundesministerium fuer Bildung und Forschung (BMBF, FluResearchNet), the Von Behring-Roentgen-Stiftung, the LOEWE Program of the State of Hessen (Universities of Giessen and Marburg Lung Center), the Wellcome Trust grant WT085572MF, and the European Commission FP7 projects FLUPIG and PREDEMICS.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mikhail Matrosovich
    • 1
  • Georg Herrler
    • 2
  • Hans Dieter Klenk
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für VirologiePhilipps-UniversitätMarburgGermany
  2. 2.Institut für VirologieStiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule HannoverHannoverGermany

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