X-ray Crystal Structures of the Influenza M2 Proton Channel Drug-Resistant V27A Mutant Bound to a Spiro-Adamantyl Amine Inhibitor Reveal the Mechanism of Adamantane Resistance

Biochemistry. 2020 Feb 4;59(4):627-634. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.9b00971. Epub 2020 Jan 13.


The V27A mutation confers adamantane resistance on the influenza A matrix 2 (M2) proton channel and is becoming more prevalent in circulating populations of influenza A virus. We have used X-ray crystallography to determine structures of a spiro-adamantyl amine inhibitor bound to M2(22-46) V27A and also to M2(21-61) V27A in the Inwardclosed conformation. The spiro-adamantyl amine binding site is nearly identical for the two crystal structures. Compared to the M2 "wild type" (WT) with valine at position 27, we observe that the channel pore is wider at its N-terminus as a result of the V27A mutation and that this removes V27 side chain hydrophobic interactions that are important for binding of amantadine and rimantadine. The spiro-adamantyl amine inhibitor blocks proton conductance in the WT and V27A mutant channels by shifting its binding site in the pore depending on which residue is present at position 27. Additionally, in the structure of the M2(21-61) V27A construct, the C-terminus of the channel is tightly packed relative to that of the M2(22-46) construct. We observe that residues Asp44, Arg45, and Phe48 face the center of the channel pore and would be well-positioned to interact with protons exiting the M2 channel after passing through the His37 gate. A 300 ns molecular dynamics simulation of the M2(22-46) V27A-spiro-adamantyl amine complex predicts with accuracy the position of the ligands and waters inside the pore in the X-ray crystal structure of the M2(22-46) V27A complex.