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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Different modes of inhibition by adamantane amine derivatives and natural polyamines of the functionally reconstituted influenza virus M2 proton channel protein.

The influenza virus M2 protein, target of the antiviral drugs amantadine and rimantadine, forms a proton channel which functions during virus uncoating and maturation by modifying the pH in virions as well as in trans-Golgi vesicles. We studied the influence of different ionic gradients on the inhibition of the proton translocation activity of isolated, baculovirus-expressed M2 protein reconstituted into liposomes. Two distinct patterns of inhibition were observed. A group of amphiphilic amines including amantadine, cyclooctylamine and rimantadine inhibited M2 effectively in the presence of physiological Na+ concentrations. The 10-fold greater activity of rimantadine over amantadine and the 100-fold stronger effect of cyclooctylamine compared to cyclopentylamine matched the relative activities in influenza virus-infected cells. A completely different inhibitory pattern emerged for the polyamines spermine, spermidine and putrescine. Polyamines have recently been identified as the 'intrinsic' rectifiers of a class of potassium channels and shown to interact with acidic amino acid residues lining and flanking the channel pore. In the presence of a physiological Na+/K+ gradient their minimal inhibitory concentrations for influenza virus M2 protein were 100, 400 and 500 microM, polyamine levels reported to exist in oocytes. In conditions depleted for Na+, polyamines inhibited M2 at concentrations two to three orders of magnitude lower. The data suggest that influenza virus M2 protein possesses a binding site for polyamines, distinct from the amantadine binding site, which is normally masked by Na+ and which could be targeted by selective antiviral inhibitors.[1]


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