Influenza AM2 Channel Oligomerization Is Sensitive to Its Chemical Environment

Anal Chem. 2021 Dec 7;93(48):16273-16281. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.1c04660. Epub 2021 Nov 23.


Viroporins are small viral ion channels that play important roles in the viral infection cycle and are proven antiviral drug targets. Matrix protein 2 from influenza A (AM2) is the best-characterized viroporin, and the current paradigm is that AM2 forms monodisperse tetramers. Here, we used native mass spectrometry and other techniques to characterize the oligomeric state of both the full-length and transmembrane (TM) domain of AM2 in a variety of different pH and detergent conditions. Unexpectedly, we discovered that AM2 formed a range of different oligomeric complexes that were strongly influenced by the local chemical environment. Native mass spectrometry of AM2 in nanodiscs with different lipids showed that lipids also affected the oligomeric states of AM2. Finally, nanodiscs uniquely enabled the measurement of amantadine binding stoichiometries to AM2 in the intact lipid bilayer. These unexpected results reveal that AM2 can form a wider range of oligomeric states than previously thought possible, which may provide new potential mechanisms of influenza pathology and pharmacology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amantadine / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human*
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Viral Matrix Proteins


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • Amantadine