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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board: Buchner, Johannes / Lei, Ming / Ludwig, Stephan / Thomas, Douglas D. / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 3.014
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 3.162

CiteScore 2018: 3.09

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 1.482
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.820

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The influenza A virus matrix protein as a marker to monitor initial virus internalisation

Thorsten Eierhoff
  • Institute of Molecular Virology, Westfälische Wilhelms University, Von Esmarch-Str. 56, D-48149 Münster, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Stephan Ludwig
  • Institute of Molecular Virology, Westfälische Wilhelms University, Von Esmarch-Str. 56, D-48149 Münster, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Christina Ehrhardt
  • Institute of Molecular Virology, Westfälische Wilhelms University, Von Esmarch-Str. 56, D-48149 Münster, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2009-03-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/BC.2009.053


The uptake of influenza A viruses (IAV) into cells represents an attractive antiviral drug target, e.g., by interfering with essential cellular or viral entry factors. So far, this process could only be studied by time-consuming microscopical methods. Thus, there is a lack of rapid and easy assay systems to monitor viral entry. Here, we describe a rapid procedure to analyse internalisation of IAV via Western blot detection of virion-associated matrix protein (M1), the most abundant protein within the viral particle. The assay is broadly applicable and detects different virus strains of various subtypes. As a proof of principle, treatment of cells with various known or presumed entry inhibitors resulted in reduced M1 levels. Removal of sialic acids, the receptors for IAV, led to a complete loss of the M1 signal, indicating that virus internalisation can be monitored already at the stage of attachment. Prevention of endosomal acidification resulted in a delayed degradation of M1 indicative of IAV particles trapped in endosomes. Thus, early detection of the virus-associated M1 protein is a rapid method to monitor different steps of influenza virus internalisation and has potential for application as a screening method for drugs that interfere with the uptake of IAV.

Keywords: influenza A virus internalisation; virion-associated matrix protein

About the article

Corresponding author

Received: 2009-01-19

Accepted: 2009-03-09

Published Online: 2009-03-31

Published in Print: 2009-01-01

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry, Volume 390, Issue 5/6, Pages 509–515, ISSN (Online) 1437-4315, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/BC.2009.053.

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