Structure of amantadine-bound M2 transmembrane peptide of influenza A in lipid bilayers from magic-angle-spinning solid-state NMR: the role of Ser31 in amantadine binding

J Mol Biol. 2009 Jan 30;385(4):1127-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2008.11.022. Epub 2008 Nov 24.


The M2 proton channel of influenza A is the target of the antiviral drugs amantadine and rimantadine, whose effectiveness has been abolished by a single-site mutation of Ser31 to Asn in the transmembrane domain of the protein. Recent high-resolution structures of the M2 transmembrane domain obtained from detergent-solubilized protein in solution and crystal environments gave conflicting drug binding sites. We present magic-angle-spinning solid-state NMR results of Ser31 and a number of other residues in the M2 transmembrane peptide (M2TMP) bound to lipid bilayers. Comparison of the spectra of the membrane-bound apo and complexed M2TMP indicates that Ser31 is the site of the largest chemical shift perturbation by amantadine. The chemical shift constraints lead to a monomer structure with a small kink of the helical axis at Gly34. A tetramer model is then constructed using the helix tilt angle and several interhelical distances previously measured on unoriented bilayer samples. This tetramer model differs from the solution and crystal structures in terms of the openness of the N-terminus of the channel, the constriction at Ser31, and the side-chain conformations of Trp41, a residue important for channel gating. Moreover, the tetramer model suggests that Ser31 may interact with amantadine amine via hydrogen bonding. While the apo and drug-bound M2TMP have similar average structures, the complexed peptide has much narrower linewidths at physiological temperature, indicating drug-induced changes of the protein dynamics in the membrane. Further, at low temperature, several residues show narrower lines in the complexed peptide than the apo peptide, indicating that amantadine binding reduces the conformational heterogeneity of specific residues. The differences of the current solid-state NMR structure of the bilayer-bound M2TMP from the detergent-based M2 structures suggest that the M2 conformation is sensitive to the environment, and care must be taken when interpreting structural findings from non-bilayer samples.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amantadine / chemistry*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Influenza A virus / chemistry*
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Protein Conformation
  • Serine / metabolism*
  • Software
  • Temperature


  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Peptides
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Serine
  • 1,2-linoleoylphosphatidylcholine
  • Amantadine