Haemagglutinin viral surface protein

Haemagglutinin viral surface protein

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Credit: LAGUNA DESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Haemagglutinin viral surface protein. Molecular models showing three views of the structure of haemagglutinin, a surface protein from the influenza virus. The protein is composed of three identical sub-units, which have a bulbous head borne on a long stalk. The colours of this molecule show the sub-units, and the head region of each sub-unit has been coloured differently to the stalk. Haemagglutinin's function is to bind to the surface of its target cell and allow the viral genes into the cell, where replication occurs. There are 16 different types of haemagglutinin known, numbered 1-16. H1, H2 and H3 are found in human flu viruses, the rest mainly affect birds.

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