Influenza a virus nucleoprotein: A highly conserved multi-functional viral protein as a hot antiviral drug target

Yanmei Hu, Hannah Sneyd, Raphael Dekant, Jun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Prevention and treatment of influenza virus infection is an ongoing unmet medical need. Each year, thousands of deaths and millions of hospitalizations are attributed to influenza virus infection, which poses a tremendous health and economic burden to the society. Aside from the annual influenza season, influenza viruses also lead to occasional influenza pandemics as a result of emerging or re-emerging influenza strains. Influenza viruses are RNA viruses that exist in quasispecies, meaning that they have a very diverse genetic background. Such a feature creates a grand challenge in devising therapeutic intervention strategies to inhibit influenza virus replication, as a single agent might not be able to inhibit all influenza virus strains. Both classes of currently approved anti-influenza drugs have limitations: the M2 channel blockers amantadine and rimantadine are no longer recommended for use in the U.S. due to predominant drug resistance, and resistance to the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir is continuously on the rise. In pursuing the next generation of antiviral drugs with broad-spectrum activity and higher genetic barrier of drug resistance, the influenza virus nucleoprotein (NP) stands out as a high-profile drug target. This review summarizes recent developments in designing inhibitors targeting influenza NP and their mechanisms of action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2271-2285
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent topics in medicinal chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Antiviral drug resistance
  • Antivirals
  • Influenza virus
  • Nucleoprotein
  • Nucleozin
  • RNA viruses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery


Dive into the research topics of 'Influenza a virus nucleoprotein: A highly conserved multi-functional viral protein as a hot antiviral drug target'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this