Which glycoprotein is mainly responsible for recurring outbreaks of influenza?
In molecular biology, hemagglutinin or haemagglutinin (from the Greek haima, “blood,” + Latin gluten, “glue”) are glycoproteins which cause red blood cells (RBCs) to agglutinate or clump together (note that agglutination is one of three steps in the more complex process of coagulation). It mostly happens when adding influenza virus to erythrocytes, just as virologist George K. Hirst discovered in 1941, even though it can also occur with measles virus, parainfluenza virus and mumps virus, among others. Time after, more related discoveries were made such as when Alfred Gottschalk proved in 1957 that hemagglutinin links virus in order to host cells by attaching sialic acids on carbohydrate side chains of cell-membrane glycoproteins and glycolipids.
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