Flu question

Graeme Price g.e.price at bham.ac.uk
Thu Nov 16 06:18:37 EST 1995

In article <48du9k$7k8_002 at salford.ac.uk>, BIE034 at news.salford.ac.uk wrote:

> I was recently reading a book on protein structure and was intrigued by the 
> influenza haemaglutinin protein. The book remarked that on the lowering 
> of the pH whilst inside the endocytotic vesicle the viral protein undergoes a 
> considerable structural change to fuse the viral membrane to that of the 
> vesicle. The book was several years old but I would assume that such a change 
> would be an ideal target for drug interactions and so should have a large 
> body of associated research. Could anyone tell me if there has been any 
> progress in determining the mechanism by which the change occurs? If so I 
> would appreciate any pertinent references which they may know!
>                 I thank everyone for their help
>                 Simon.

There has been a whole lot of progress in this area over the last couple
of years. The whole thing has been extensively reviewed by Hughson, 
(F.M. Hughson (1995) Structural characterization of viral fusion proteins.
Current Biology 5(3), 265-274) and the original paper on the structure of
HA at the pH of fusion is well worth a look as well (Bullough et al (1994)
Structure of influenza haemagglutinin at the pH of membrane fusion. Nature
371, 37-43). There are still a couple of things which haven't been fully
resolved about the mechanism, but the references above should be useful
for the basics.


Graeme Price
Microbial Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology Group, 
School of Biological Sciences, Biology West Building,
University of Birmingham,
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
West Midlands, B15 2TT.
United Kingdom.

Tel. (+44) (0)121 414 6555
Fax. (+44) (0)121 414 6557
E-mail g.e.price at bham.ac.uk

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