Abstract by Daniel Johnston
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Copper Complexes as Influenza Inhibitors
Mutations to the M2 proton channel in Influenza A have led to widespread resistance to existing anti-influenza drugs. A new class of drugs is needed to respond to severe cases or an Influenza pandemic. Copper ions have been shown to permanently block the function of the M2 channel but free copper ions are toxic to cells. A method of delivering copper ions to the M2 channel without harming the host cell is needed. Several copper-bearing complexes were developed and tested against wild-type and mutant strains of Influenza. Neutral complexes were found to be effective in oocyte trials but not in live animal trials. Divalent complexes were not effective in any circumstances. Monovalent complexes are currently being developed and tested.