Recent Progress in Computational Approaches to Studying the M2 Proton Channel and Its Implication to Drug Design Against Influenza Viruses

Author(s): Qi-Shi Du , Ri-Bo Huang .

Journal Name: Current Protein & Peptide Science

Volume 13 , Issue 3 , 2012

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For quite a long period of time in history, many intense efforts have been made to determine the 3D (threedimensional) structure of the M2 proton channel. The reason why the M2 proton channel has attracted so many attentions is because (1) it is the key for really understanding the life cycle of influenza viruses, and (2) it is indispensable for conducting rational drug design against the flu viruses. Recently, the long-sough 3D structures of the M2 proton channels for both influenza A and B viruses were consecutively successfully determined by the high-resolution NMR spectroscopy (Schnell J.R. and Chou, J.J., Nature, 2008, 451: 591-595; Wang, J., Pielak, R.M., McClintock, M.A., and Chou, J.J., Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 2009,16: 1267-1271). Such a milestone work has provided a solid structural basis for in-depth understanding the action mechanism of the M2 channel and rationally designing effective drugs against influenza viruses. This review is devoted to, with the focus on the M2 proton channel of influenza A, addressing a series of relevant problems, such as how to correctly understand the novel allosteric inhibition mechanism inferred from the NMR structure that is completely different from the traditional view, what the possible impacts are to the previous functional studies in this area, and what kind of new strategy can be stimulated for drug development against influenza.

Keywords: M2 proton channel, influenza A virus, rational drug design, amantadine, rimantadine, allosteric inhibition mechanism, pKa shift, BM2, hemagglutin, H5N1

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Article Details

Year: 2012
Page: [205 - 210]
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.2174/138920312800785030
Price: $58

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