Encyclopedia of Biophysics

2013 Edition
| Editors: Gordon C. K. Roberts

Hemagglutinin – Computational Studies

  • Marc Willem van der KampEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-16712-6_241



A viral glycoprotein responsible for binding the virus to the cell that is being infected.

Basic Characteristics

When a virus enters a host, it needs to bind to host cells and subsequently induce fusion of its membrane with the host cell membrane. The hemagglutin protein on the viral envelope plays a crucial role in this mechanism: it binds to sialic acid analogues on the host cell, inducing endosomal uptake of the virus particle. Many computational studies, typically using  Molecular Dynamics Simulations, have been used to investigate the recognition between different viral hemagglutinins and host cell glycans (Kasson et al. 2009; Newhouse et al. 2009). After binding to the host cell, the virus needs ensure that its contents, most crucially its genome, enter the host cell cytoplasm. Hemagglutinin plays a crucial role in this process by changing conformation and exposing a previously hidden hydrophobic portion of its peptide chain, the so-called...

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Copyright information

© European Biophysical Societies' Association (EBSA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Computational Chemistry, School of ChemistryUniversity of BristolBristolUK