Influenza viruses are major human pathogens, responsible for respiratory diseases affecting millions of people worldwide, with high morbidity and significant mortality. Infections by influenza can be controlled by vaccines and antiviral drugs. However, this virus is constantly under mutations, limiting the effectiveness of these clinical antiviral strategies. It is therefore urgent to develop new ones. Influenza hemagglutinin (HA) is involved in receptor binding and promotes the pH-dependent fusion of viral and cell endocytic membranes. HA-targeted peptides may emerge as a novel antiviral option to block this viral entry step. In this study, we evaluated three HA-derived (lipo)peptides using fluorescence spectroscopy. Peptide membrane interaction assays were performed at neutral and acidic pH to better resemble the natural conditions in which influenza fusion occurs. We found that peptide affinity towards membranes decreases upon the acidification of the environment. Therefore, the released peptides would be able to bind their complementary domain and interfere with the six-helix bundle formation necessary for viral fusion, and thus for the infection of the target cell. Our results provide new insight into molecular interactions between HA-derived peptides and cell membranes, which may contribute to the development of new influenza virus inhibitors.
|Titolo:||The pH-sensitive action of cholesterol-conjugated peptide inhibitors of influenza virus|
POROTTO, Matteo [Resources]
|Data di pubblicazione:||2021|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|