Molecular modeling, docking and dynamics simulations of GNA-related lectins for potential prevention of influenza virus (H1N1)
The Galanthus nivalis agglutinin (GNA)-related lectin family exhibit significant anti-HIV and anti-HSV properties that are closely related to their carbohydratebinding activities. However, there is still no conclusive evidence that GNA-related lectins possess anti-influenza properties. The hemagglutinin (HA) of influenza virus is a surface protein that is involved in binding host cell sialic acid during the early stages of infection. Herein, we studied the 3D-QSARs (three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationships) of lectin-and HA-sialic acid by molecular modeling. The affinities and stabilities of lectin-and HA-sialic acid complexes were also assessed by molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulations. Finally, anti-influenza GNA-related lectins that possess stable conformations and higher binding affinities for sialic acid than HAs of human influenza virus were screened, and a possible mechanism was proposed. Accordingly, our results indicate that some GNA-related lectins, such as Yucca filamentosa lectin and Polygonatum cyrtonema lectin, could act as drugs that prevent influenza virus infection via competitive binding. In conclusion, the GNArelated lectin family may be helpful in the design of novel candidate agents for preventing influenza A infection through the use of competitive combination against sialic acid specific viral infection.