Molecular Playground/Relenza

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Molecular Playground at the University of Massachusetts. MOVIE.

Relenza is an anti-influenza drug. It must be inhaled or injected, whereas the more popular anti-influenza drug Tamiflu can be taken by mouth. However, many of the influenza viruses that cause disease in humans have developed resistance to Tamiflu. This is the result of widespread overuse of Tamiflu. Public health agencies in many countries have stockpiled Tamiflu at great expense, but these stockpiles are now of limited usefulness. Luckily the H1N1 swine flu that caused the pandemic starting in mid-2009 was sensitive to Tamiflu. However, it is only a matter of time before H1N1 also becomes resistant, and Relenza will then be the last resort.

Influenza neuraminidase N1 mutant His274Tyr with Relenza bound (3ckz).

Drag the structure with the mouse to rotate

Tamiflu and Relenza inhibit the neuraminidase protein in influenza, a protein enzyme that needs to function in order for the virus to spread. One of most common mutations that makes neuraminidase N1 resistant to inhibition by Tamiflu occurs when the amino acid histidine, in position 274 of the protein chain of neuraminidase, is mutated to the amino acid tyrosine (His274Tyr or H274Y). At right is shown influenza neuraminidase N1 mutant H274Y bound to Relenza.

Technical: The initial scene is a Level I scene. Click the button below to show the Level II version of this scene. More....

For more about this topic (and references to sources), please see

The Molecular Playground interactive projection in the Integrated Sciences Building at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA, shows the molecular display that you see when you press the button above. This is only one of a series of modules that are shown. Instructions for authoring modules that display molecules in Molecular Playground are available.

Methods: The scene shown here was created with the Scene Authoring Tools (SAT) in Proteopedia.Org. The Display Scene button above plays Image:MP relenza03.spt, which in turn invokes Image:MPSceneVersion01.spt, Image:MPSupportVersion01.spt, and the state script for the scene,

Proteopedia Page Contributors and Editors (what is this?)

Eric Martz

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