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Comparison of the activities of BM2 protein and its H19 and W23 mutants of influenza B virus with activities of M2 protein and its H37 and W41 mutants of influenza A virus

Betakova, Tatiana, Hay, Alan J.
Archives of virology 2009 v.154 no.10 pp. 1619-1624
Influenza A virus, Influenza B virus, histidine, humans, ion channels, mutants, mutation, pH, toxicity, tryptophan
Co-expression of the BM2 protein with pH-sensitive HA reduces the conversion of HA to its low-pH conformation during transport to the cell surface in the same way as human M2 proteins. BM2 protein is capable of increasing vesicular pH by as much as 0.4 pH units. Mutation analysis showed that replacement of H19 in BM2 protein by A and L resulted in loss of activity, while M2, with the mutation H37A, remained active, but its severe toxicity was intolerable for cells. Whereas substitution of L or A for W23 abolished detectable activity of the BM2 channel, substitution of L for W41 in the M2 protein resulted in a functional ion channel but with reduced activity. W41 was not essential for functional activity of the M2 protein. Our results show some differences in the nature of the interaction of the histidine and tryptophan in the transmembrane domains of BM2 and M2 ion channels.