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J Virol. Sep 1993; 67(9): 5585–5594.
PMCID: PMC237962

Ion channel activity of influenza A virus M2 protein: characterization of the amantadine block.

Abstract

The influenza A virus M2 integral membrane protein has ion channel activity which can be blocked by the antiviral drug amantadine. The M2 protein transmembrane domain is highly conserved in amino acid sequence for all the human, swine, equine, and avian strains of influenza A virus, and thus, known amino acid differences could lead to altered properties of the M2 ion channel. We have expressed in oocytes of Xenopus laevis the M2 protein of human influenza virus A/Udorn/72 and the avian virus A/chicken/Germany/34 (fowl plague virus, Rostock) and derivatives of the Rostock ion channel altered in the presumed pore region. The pH of activation of the M2 ion channels and amantadine block of the M2 ion channels were investigated. The channels were found to be activated by pH in a similar manner but differed in their apparent Kis for amantadine block.

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