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. 2015 Dec 8;33(49):7002-7.
doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.08.095. Epub 2015 Sep 19.

S-acylation of Influenza Virus Proteins: Are Enzymes for Fatty Acid Attachment Promising Drug Targets?

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S-acylation of Influenza Virus Proteins: Are Enzymes for Fatty Acid Attachment Promising Drug Targets?

Michael Veit et al. Vaccine. .

Abstract

Covalent attachment of saturated fatty acids (palmitate and stearate) to hemagglutinin (HA) of influenza virus is a protein modification essential for viral replication. The enzymes catalysing acylation of viral proteins have not been identified, but likely candidates that acylate cellular substrates are members of a protein family that contain a DHHC (Asp-His-His-Cys) cysteine-rich domain. Since 23 DHHC-proteins with distinct, only partly overlapping substrate specificities are present in humans, only a few of them might acylate HA in airway cells of the lung. We argue here that these DHHC-proteins might be promising drug targets since their blockade should result in suppression of viral replication, while acylation of cellular proteins will not be (or very little) compromised.

Keywords: DHHC-protein; Drug target; HA; Influenza virus; M2; Palmitoylation.

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