Every year, influenza A virus (IAV) affects and kills many people worldwide. The viral hemagglutinin (HA) is a critical actor in influenza virus infectivity which needs to be cleaved by host serine proteases to exert its activity. KLK5 has been identified as an activating protease in humans with a preference for the H3N2 IAV subtype. We investigated the origin of this preference using influenza A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR8, H1N1) and A/Scotland/20/74 (Scotland, H3N2) viruses. Pretreatment of noninfectious virions with human KLK5 increased infectivity of Scotland IAV in MDCK cells and triggered influenza pneumonia in mice. These effects were not observed with the PR8 IAV. Molecular modeling and in vitro enzymatic studies of peptide substrates and recombinant HAs revealed that the sequences around the cleavage site do not represent the sole determinant of the KLK5 preference for the H3N2 subtype. Using mouse Klk5 and Klk5-deficient mice, we demonstrated in vitro and in vivo that the mouse ortholog protease is not an IAV activating enzyme. This may be explained by unfavorable interactions between H3 HA and mKlk5. Our data highlight the limitations of some approaches used to identify IAV-activating proteases.
Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige 2012
- 106 Biologie