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Putting a bull's-eye on the flu: Detailing influenza's structure for drug targeting
Date:10/21/2010

nior author of the paper.

The magnet allows the team to use a technique called solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance which utilizes some of the underlying technology of an MRI to map the structure of the channel. Florida State's Huan-Xiang Zhou and his students used the data from the NMR to compute precise readings of the distance between two molecules or atoms.

"Now we have a much more refined view of M2, all the way down to the atomic level, the level that includes protons going through the channel, to draw conclusions about how to block it," said Busath.

Busath runs tests to ensure that the samples being studied behave in the same way as viruses in real cells, which demonstrate that the experimental conditions have preserved the study's relevance to the real world.

This new study is more precise than previous work because it examines the virus in an environment that closely simulates its native setting. This is particularly important because its structure can change significantly based on its surroundings.

Now the research team has started screening millions of compounds, looking for drugs that will bind to the channel and block it in its reproductive role.


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Contact: Joseph Hadfield
joseph_hadfield@byu.edu
801-422-9206
Brigham Young University
Source:Eurekalert  

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