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Eur J Med Chem . Tackling Influenza A virus by M2 ion channel blockers: Latest progress and limitations

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  • Eur J Med Chem . Tackling Influenza A virus by M2 ion channel blockers: Latest progress and limitations

    Eur J Med Chem


    . 2024 Feb 3:267:116172.
    doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2024.116172. Online ahead of print. Tackling Influenza A virus by M2 ion channel blockers: Latest progress and limitations

    Gautam Kumar 1 , Kakade Aditi Sakharam 2



    AffiliationsAbstract

    Influenza outbreaks cause pandemics in millions of people. The treatment of influenza remains a challenge due to significant genetic polymorphism in the influenza virus. Also, developing vaccines to protect against seasonal and pandemic influenza infections is constantly impeded. Thus, antibiotics are the only first line of defense against antigenically distinct strains or new subtypes of influenza viruses. Among several anti-influenza targets, the M2 protein of the influenza virus performs several activities. M2 protein is an ion channel that permits proton conductance through the virion envelope and the deacidification of the Golgi apparatus. Both these functions are critical for viral replication. Thus, targeting the M2 protein of the influenza virus is an essential target. Rimantadine and amantadine are two well-known drugs that act on the M2 protein. However, these drugs acquired resistance to influenza and thus are not recommended to treat influenza infections. This review discusses an overview of anti-influenza therapy, M2 ion channel functions, and its working principle. It also discusses the M2 structure and its role, and the change in the structure leads to mutant variants of influenza A virus. We also shed light on the recently identified compounds acting against wild-type and mutated M2 proteins of influenza virus A. These scaffolds could be an alternative to M2 inhibitors and be developed as antibiotics for treating influenza infections.

    Keywords: Influenza A; M2 inhibitors; M2 ion channel; M2-S31N; M2-V27A; M2-WT; anti-influenza drugs.

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