Hemagglutinin are the receptor-binding and membrane fusion glycoproteins of influenza viruses. They recognize sialic acid-containing, cell-surface glycoconjugates as receptors but have limited affinity for them, and, as a consequence, virus attachment to cells requires their interaction with several virus HAs. Receptor-bound virus is transferred into endosomes where membrane fusion by HAs is activated at pH between 5 and 6.5, depending on the strain of virus. Fusion activity requires extensive rearrangements in HA conformation that include extrusion of a buried "fusion peptide" to connect with the endosomal membrane, form a bridge to the virus membrane, and eventually bring both membranes close together.
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For Research Use Only. Not For Clinical Use.