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Influenza Virus - Sugar Interactions, From Glycan Arrays To Better Vaccines

Influenza Virus - Sugar Interactions, From Glycan Arrays To Better Vaccines

Objective

Our current assays to determine the receptor specificity and vaccine efficiency of influenza A virus fail as they do not represent receptors available in the human upper respiratory tract. The lack of these receptors in our laboratory hosts to create vaccines significantly dampen yields, the resulting mismatched vaccines do not afford proper protection and further drive antigenic drift.
The objective of this proposal is to elucidate the functional receptor of human influenza A viruses. By using antigenically drifted viruses, we expect to understand how glycan specificity changes due to immune pressure but it will also lead to the identification of a glycan that is utilized by all human IAV viruses. With this knowledge, better surveillance techniques, culture models and structure-based inhibitors can be developed. Using a novel and sophisticated cell-engineering tool, based on lipidated sugars, we will show functional glycan receptor usage. In addition, I will create cell lines in which human influenza A vaccine viruses grow to high titers without adaptation, thus providing superior protection.
To achieve this goal, I propose to enzymatically synthesize complex glycans (AIM 1), including sialic acid modifications that are found on the respiratory tract epithelial cells of humans and other IAV hosts. Several enzymatic methods and glycan array tools are in place, and thus the chance of success is high. I already set-up preliminary methods for the use of lipidated N-glycan structures and extensive knowledge on SEEL is present in the department (AIM 2). For creating super vaccine producing cell lines I will use genetic approaches that previously have shown to be successful (AIM3).
The systems dealing with sugars enabling function, either for infection or vaccine research, I term sugar-enable, will provide new endeavors to create glycan-analog inhibitors and will bring us steps closer to better vaccines.
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Host institution

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT

Address

Heidelberglaan 8
3584 Cs Utrecht

Netherlands

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 441 681

Beneficiaries (1)

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UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 1 441 681

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 802780

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 December 2018

  • End date

    30 November 2023

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 441 681

  • EU contribution

    € 1 441 681

Hosted by:

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT

Netherlands