The M2 protein of influenza virus A is key to the viral infection mechanism. Upon activation it acidifies the viral capsid, leading to the release of viral RNA fragments into the host cell. M2 inhibitors are used as drugs, but resistance against these inhibitors is high. Clarifying the mechanism of M2, and the function of known inhibitors, is key to developing new antiviral agents.
Using our technology platform for monitoring proton flux, we can quantify the efficiency of M2 and variants of the protein. Our system is well suited for screening of potential new inhibitors, in the search for new antiviral agents.
In collaboration with Professor William DeGrado, University of Pennsylvania.