A Novel Method of Resistance for Influenza Against a Channel-Blocking Antiviral Drug

Peleg Astrahan, Itamar Kass, Matthew A. Cooper, Isaiah T. Arkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Effective antivirals are few and far between, and as such, the appearance of resistance toward such treatments is an obvious medical concern. In this article, we analyze the mechanism by which influenza attains resistance toward amantadine, a blocker of the viral M2 H+ channel. Binding analyses of amantadine to M2 peptides from different viral strains showed that the virus has developed two alternate routes to avoid blockage of its channel: (1) a conventional route, in which the channel no longer binds the blocker and, hence, the blocker cannot exert its inhibitory function; and (2) a novel mechanism, in which binding of the blocker is retained, yet the function of the protein is unaffected. Pore diameter profiles revealed the molecular mechanism by which the virus may attain this novel type of resistance: an increase in the size of the channel. Thus, despite the drug binding the channel, it may not be able to block the pore, since the channel diameter has increased. Our findings may have broad ramifications in the design of new antivirals, and of novel blockers against malfunctioning human channels implicated in disease.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
JournalProteins: Structure, Function and Genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2004


  • Antiviral
  • Channel blocker
  • Influenza
  • Ion channel
  • Protein structure


Dive into the research topics of 'A Novel Method of Resistance for Influenza Against a Channel-Blocking Antiviral Drug'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this