Biochemistry. 2009 Jul 14. [Epub ahead of print]

Structure and Function of the Influenza A M2 Proton Channel.

Cady SD, Luo W, Hu F, Hong M. Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011.

The M2 protein of influenza A viruses forms a tetrameric pH-activated proton-selective channel that is targeted by the amantadine class of antiviral drugs. Its ion channel function has been extensively studied by electrophysiology and mutagenesis; however, the molecular mechanism of proton transport is still elusive, and the mechanism of inhibition by amantadine is controversial. We review the functional data on proton channel activity, molecular dynamics simulations of the proton conduction mechanism, and high-resolution structural and dynamical information of this membrane protein in lipid bilayers and lipid-mimetic detergents. These studies indicate that elucidation of the structural basis of M2 channel activity and inhibition requires thorough examination of the complex dynamics and conformational plasticity of the protein in different lipid bilayers and lipid-mimetic environments.

PMID: 19601584 [PubMed - as supplied by publishe