Innate immune response is important for viral clearance during influenza virus infection. Galectin-1, which belongs to S-type lectins, contains a conserved carbohydrate recognition domain that recognizes galactosecontaining oligosaccharides. Since the envelope proteins of influenza virus are highly glycosylated, we studied the role of galectin-1 in influenza virus infection in vitro and in mice. We found that galectin-1 was upregulated in the lungs of mice during influenza virus infection. There was a positive correlation between galectin-1 levels and viral loads during the acute phase of viral infection. Cells treated with recombinant human galectin-1 generated lower viral yields after influenza virus infection. Galectin-1 could directly bind to the envelope glycoproteins of influenza A/WSN/33 virus and inhibit its hemagglutination activity and infectivity. It also bound to different subtypes of influenza A virus with micromolar dissociation constant (K d) values and protected cells against influenza virus-induced cell death. We used nanoparticle, surface plasmon resonance analysis and transmission electron microscopy to further demonstrate the direct binding of galectin-1 to influenza virus. More importantly, we show for the first time that intranasal treatment of galectin-1 could enhance survival of mice against lethal challenge with influenza virus by reducing viral load, inflammation, and apoptosis in the lung. Furthermore, galectin-1 knockout mice were more susceptible to influenza virus infection than wild-type mice. Collectively, our results indicate that galectin-1 has anti-influenza virus activity by binding to viral surface and inhibiting its infectivity. Thus, galectin-1 may be further explored as a novel therapeutic agent for influenza.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science