Navigation Links
Iowa State chemists track how drug changes, blocks flu virus

AMES, Iowa An anti-virus drug attacks influenza A by changing the motion and structure of a proton channel necessary for the virus to infect healthy cells, according to a recently published research paper by two Iowa State University chemists.

Mei Hong, Iowa States John D. Corbett Professor in Chemistry, and Sarah Cady, a graduate student in chemistry, are studying the effects of the antiviral drug amantadine on influenza A. Thats the type of flu bug that most commonly makes people sick and the one that has caused the most serious flu epidemics.

Their findings appear in the Feb. 5 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Hong said the findings are particularly important because mutations of the type A virus are resistant to amantadine treatment.

In the last few years, amantadine resistance has skyrocketed among influenza A viruses in Asia and North America, making it imperative to develop alternative antiviral drugs, Hong and Cady wrote in their paper.

To develop those drugs, Hong said researchers first need to understand exactly how amantadine stops the flu virus.

First, some background about how a flu virus infects a healthy cell: A virus begins the process by attaching itself to a healthy cell. The healthy cell surrounds the flu virus and takes it inside the cell through a process called endocytosis. Once in the cell, the virus uses a protein called M2 to open a channel to the healthy cell. Protons from the healthy cell flow through the channel into the virus and raise its acidity. That triggers the release of the virus genetic material into the healthy cell. The virus hijacks the healthy cells resources and uses them to reproduce and spread the virus.

If the M2 proton channel is blocked, the process doesnt work and a virus cant infect a cell and spread.

Hong and Cady studied the proton channel with the help of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy a technique similar to the magnetic resonance imaging technology that takes pictures of soft tissues in the body. The technology enabled them to discover and describe the motion and structure of the M2 proton channel in virus cells. They studied the channel when cells were treated with amantadine and when they were not.

Hong said the study made three findings:

  • First, the M2 protein is in constant motion, changing among various conformations, and amantadine treatment changes the rate of motion and reduces the number of possible conformations the protein can adopt.

  • Second, the structure of the protein changes most prominently at two places facing the channel interior when cells are treated with amantadine.

  • And third, the tilt and orientation of the proteins helices are subtly changed by amantadine.

And all that blocks the ability of a virus to infect a healthy cell.

We didnt know that before, Hong said. And now that makes it very clear what we should study next.

Hongs next step is to examine how mutant versions of the virus are able to resist the flu-stopping changes caused by amantadine. Hong said that study will depend on winning research funding and recruiting graduate students interested in chemistry with biological applications.


Contact: Mei Hong
Iowa State University

Related medicine news :

1. Sharing Miracles Television Program to Feature North Carolina State Womens Basketball Coach Kay Yow
2. Obesity Action Coalition Calls on the State of Mississippi House of Representatives to Withdraw House Bill 282 Discriminating Against Those Affected by Obesity
3. Experimental Vaccine Halts Prostate Cancer in Mice
4. MedWaves, Inc. Announces Receipt of United States Food and Drug Administration 510k Clearance to Market Its Patented Microwave Coagulation/Ablation System
5. CAHI Releases Updated Health Insurance Mandates in the States
6. Los Angeles Daily Journal Names Richardson & Patel Verdict Top in the State of California for 2007
7. SAFC Pharma Expands Its Pharmorphix Solid State Chemistry Services
8. Researchers investigate links between prostate, cadmium, zinc
9. Pennsylvania Education Secretary Lauds Action on Measure to Create Statewide School Health Benefits System
10. Urinary dysfunction troubles men who undergo prostate removal
11. Capital BlueCross CEO Says Meaningful Statewide Competition Must Be Key Criteria in Pennsylvanias Review of Proposed Highmark-IBC Merger
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Iowa State chemists track how drug changes, blocks flu virus
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Students and parents have something to be thankful for ... Real Impact awards. California Casualty is proud to support the contest designed ... and reckless driving, the number one killer of young drivers. , Almost 1,000 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... PA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... now certified to offer their patients the many benefits of the revolutionary BIOLASE ... the sharp cutting and scraping tools traditionally used by a dentist in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Young patients with a wide ... Angela Wolfman and Dr. Kedar S. Lele, who are pediatric dentists in Tucson, ... fillings, the WaterLase iPlus 2.0™ system causes minimal discomfort and bleeding to the patient ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... In an ... restrictions and variables that determine which patients are or are not eligible for bariatric ... have a BMI over 40, are more than 100 pounds overweight, or have a ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... national leaders when it comes to several aspects of orthopedic care. They have ... replacements, orthopedic surgeries and general orthopedic care. , Becker's Hospital Review selected ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... FRANCISCO , Nov. 24, 2015  Thanks to ... Dignity Health St. Mary,s Medical Center,s Sister Diane Grassilli ... breast imaging capabilities in San Francisco ... an anonymous friend, stepped forward with a gift of ... for Breast Digital Mammography with Tomosynthesis and Whole Breast ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... TX and VANCOUVER, Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - ... NASDAQ: EPIX ) announced today that the first ... study of EPI-506 as a treatment for metastatic castration-resistant ... and Canada.  --> ... --> In the Phase 1/2 clinical trial, ESSA ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... --> --> According to ... Type (Bone Graft, Bine Graft Substitute, Platelet Rich Plasma, BMAC), ... Fusion), End User, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2020", ... Billion in 2014 and is expected to reach $2.4 Billion ... period of 2015 to 2020. Browse 55 market ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: