Sialic acid present on the cell surface is recognised by hemagglutinin (HA) on the influenza virus in the first step of infection. Therefore, a compound that can efficiently interfere with the interaction between sialic acid and HA might inhibit infection and allow detection of the influenza virus. The authors focused on the spatial arrangement of sialic acid binding sites on HA and developed 2,3-sialyllactose (2,3-SL)-modified three-way junction (3WJ) DNA molecules with a topology similar to that of sialic acid binding sites. 3WJ DNA with three 2,3-SL residues on each DNA strand showed (8.0 × 104)-fold higher binding affinity for influenza virus A/Puerto Rico/08/34 (H1N1) compared to the 2,3-SL. This result indicated that the glycocluster effect due to clustering on one DNA arm and optimal spatial arrangement of the 3WJ DNA improved the weak interactions between a sialic acid and its binding site on HA. This 3WJ DNA compound has possible application as an inhibitor of influenza infection and for virus sensing.
Authors: Yamabe M, Kaihatsu K, Ebara Y. ; Full Source: Bioconjugate Chemistry 2018 Mar 26. doi: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.8b00045. [Epub ahead of print]