Targeting the Channel Activity of Viroporins.


Since the discovery that certain small viral membrane proteins, collectively termed as viroporins, can permeabilize host cellular membranes and also behave as ion channels, attempts have been made to link this feature to specific biological roles. In parallel, most viroporins identified so far are virulence factors, and interest has focused toward the discovery of channel inhibitors that would have a therapeutic effect, or be used as research tools to understand the biological roles of viroporin ion channel activity. However, this paradigm is being shifted by the difficulties inherent to small viral membrane proteins, and by the realization that protein-protein interactions and other diverse roles in the virus life cycle may represent an equal, if not, more important target. Therefore, although targeting the channel activity of viroporins can probably be therapeutically useful in some cases, the focus may shift to their other functions in following years. Small-molecule inhibitors have been mostly developed against the influenza A M2 (IAV M2 or AM2). This is not surprising since AM2 is the best characterized viroporin to date, with a well-established biological role in viral pathogenesis combined the most extensive structural investigations conducted, and has emerged as a validated drug target. For other viroporins, these studies are still mostly in their infancy, and together with those for AM2, are the subject of the present review.

DOI: 10.1016/bs.apcsb.2015.12.003

Cite this paper

@article{To2016TargetingTC, title={Targeting the Channel Activity of Viroporins.}, author={Janet To and Wahyu Surya and Jaume Torres}, journal={Advances in protein chemistry and structural biology}, year={2016}, volume={104}, pages={307-355} }