The influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) temperature-sensitive (ts) mutant, ts61S, contains a nucleotide change in RNA segment 4 which leads to an amino acid change at HA1 residue 110 of serine to proline. When ts61 S HA is synthesized and maintained at the nonpermissive temperature (39.5°), the HA is defective in transport in the exocytic pathway and is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (S. Nakajima, D. J. Brown, M., Ueda, K., Nakajima, A. Suguira, A. K. Pattnaik, and D. P. Nayak, 1986, Virology 154, 279-285). In a comparison of the biochemical properties of ts61S HA and A/WSN/33 HA (wt) expressed at the permissive temperature (33°), we have found that ts61S HA is extensively debilitated. A large proportion of ts61 S HA fails to gain reactivity with conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies and does not become resistant to protease digestion. In turn, a large population of the molecules are not transported from the ER to the Golgi apparatus or cell surface with the same kinetics or efficiency as wt HA. These data suggest that the serine to proline change at HA1 residue 110 leads to partial impairment of folding at the permissive temperature with complete impairment at the nonpermissive temperature.
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