Three mutations switch H7N9 influenza to human-type receptor specificity
(A) Variation at HA positions that are known to mediate the switch in receptor binding specificity for human H1, H2 and H3 pandemic viruses and corresponding avian viruses of H1, H2, H3 and H5 subtypes in comparison with human H7N9. Red indicates amino acids involved in either human- or avian-type receptor specificity, blue indicates amino-acid positions that are mutated to the amino acids found in human H3N2 and H2N2 viruses. (B) Projection of the receptor glycan from the binding pocket. The receptor analog 6’SLNLN (α2–6 linked sialylated di-LacNAc; NeuAcα2-6Galβ1-4GlcNAcβ1-3Galβ1-4GlcNAc) is modeled in the WT H7 with K193 (dark gray), and the mutant H7 with V186K K193T G228S (light gray). In the WT, K193 causes the receptor to project further away from the 190 helix. Symbols in the sugar rings are the conventions for the Symbol Nomenclature For Glycans (SNFG) where sialic acid is the purple cubic diamond, galactose is the yellow sphere and GlcNAc is the blue cube.