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PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e28309. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0028309. Epub 2011 Dec 2.

Potent neutralization of influenza A virus by a single-domain antibody blocking M2 ion channel protein.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China.


Influenza A virus poses serious health threat to humans. Neutralizing antibodies against the highly conserved M2 ion channel is thought to offer broad protection against influenza A viruses. Here, we screened synthetic Camel single-domain antibody (VHH) libraries against native M2 ion channel protein. One of the isolated VHHs, M2-7A, specifically bound to M2-expressed cell membrane as well as influenza A virion, inhibited replication of both amantadine-sensitive and resistant influenza A viruses in vitro, and protected mice from a lethal influenza virus challenge. Moreover, M2-7A showed blocking activity for proton influx through M2 ion channel. These pieces of evidence collectively demonstrate for the first time that a neutralizing antibody against M2 with broad specificity is achievable, and M2-7A may have potential for cross protection against a number of variants and subtypes of influenza A viruses.

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