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FEBS Lett. 2003 Sep 18;552(1):17-22.

Proton conduction through the M2 protein of the influenza A virus; a quantitative, mechanistic analysis of experimental data.

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Johnson Research Foundation, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6059, USA.


The M2 proton channel from influenza A virus forms proton-selective ion channels, which are the target of the drug amantadine. Here, existing experimental data are quantitatively examined for insights into mechanisms to account for the pH- and voltage-dependences of M2 proton conduction. The analysis shows that a model involving protonation equilibria of His37, including pH-dependent changes in the relative rates of diffusion on either side of the pore, is quantitatively able to account for recently reported electrophysiological data examining the pH- and voltage-dependences of Rostock and Weybridge strain M2 proton conduction.

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