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Virologica Sinica, 25 (4) : 267-280, 2010
Ion Channels as Antivirus Targets
State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Diseases, Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510530, China
Ion channels are membrane proteins that are found in a number of viruses and which are of crucial physiological importance in the viral life cycle. They have one common feature in that their action mode involves a change of electrochemical or proton gradient across the bilayer lipid membrane which modulates viral or cellular activity. We will discuss a group of viral channel proteins that belong to the viroproin family, and which participate in a number of viral functions including promoting the release of viral particles from cells. Blocking these channel-forming proteins may be “lethal”, which can be a suitable and potential therapeutic strategy. In this review we discuss seven ion channels of viruses which can lead serious infections in human beings: M2 of influenza A, NB and BM2 of influenza B, CM2 of influenza C, Vpu of HIV-1, p7 of HCV and 2B of picornaviruses.
  Published online: 5 Aug 2010
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