Entry of the bat influenza H17N10 virus into mammalian cells is enabled by the MHC class II HLA-DR receptor


Haemagglutinin and neuraminidase surface glycoproteins of the bat influenza H17N10 virus neither bind to nor cleave sialic acid receptors, indicating that this virus employs cell entry mechanisms distinct from those of classical influenza A viruses. We observed that certain human haematopoietic cancer cell lines and canine MDCK II cells are susceptible to H17-pseudotyped viruses. We identified the human HLA-DR receptor as an entry mediator for H17 pseudotypes, suggesting that H17N10 possesses zoonotic potential.

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Fig. 1: The H17N10 cellular receptor(s) is not ubiquitous and is proteinaceous.
Fig. 2: Surface expression of HLA-DR is a key determinant for entry of H17 pseudotypes into mammalian cells.

Data availability

Microarray data are available at the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) repository under the series record number GSE14837. All other data supporting the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author on request.


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We thank J. Kaufman, Y. Guo, I. Elbusifi, D. Quinn, A. Ho, K. Ciminski and M. Schwemmle for their support. Cells were kindly provided by E. Wright (University of Sussex, Falmer, UK), K. Paschos, R. White, M. Dorner, M. Edwards, P. Farrell and R. Shattock (Imperial College London, London, UK). This research was undertaken with the financial support of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) (http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk) via the Strategic LoLa grant BB/K002465/1 ‘Developing Rapid Responses to Emerging Virus Infections of Poultry (DRREVIP)’ and the Octoberwoman Foundation. L.-F.W. is supported by the Singapore National Research Foundation grants (NRF2012NRF-CRP001-056 and NRF2016NRF-NSFC002-013).

Author information

E.S.G. conceived, designed and performed the experiments, analysed the data and wrote the manuscript. G.C. generated the luciferase reporter plasmids, produced the pseudotype viral stocks and wrote the manuscript. E.F.Y., S.G. and P.S. performed the microarray work. W.S.B., M.A.S. and N.T. designed the experiments and wrote the manuscript. L.-F.W. provided materials and engaged in discussion of the project.

Correspondence to Efstathios S. Giotis.

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The buffy coat residues for the isolation of CD19+ primary B cells were purchased from the UK Blood Transfusion Service from anonymous volunteer blood donors. Therefore, no ethical approval is required.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Supplementary Discussion, Supplementary Tables 1 and 2, Supplementary Figs. 1–7 and Supplementary References.

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Giotis, E.S., Carnell, G., Young, E.F. et al. Entry of the bat influenza H17N10 virus into mammalian cells is enabled by the MHC class II HLA-DR receptor. Nat Microbiol 4, 2035–2038 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41564-019-0517-3

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