Viral ion channels are short homo-oligomerizing small transmembrane proteins usually expressed both in the viral envelope and/or host cell membranes. They affect membrane permeability to ions and play an important role either in facilitating virus entry, assembly and release or modulating the ionic homeostasis of host cells. Viral ionic channels are not necessarily required for the production of infectious virions, although their expression usually significantly increases growth.
Depending on the concerned virus, may:
- facilitate the uncoating of some viruses during entry.
- play a role during assembly by protecting viral glycoproteins from low pH during secretion
- facilitate virus budding.
|Influenzavirus B||NB, BM2||Entry|
|* Retroviridae||Human immunodeficiency virus 1||Vpu||Budding|
* For those viruses, the channel activity has been shown in artificial lipid bilayers (ex-vivo) without linking it to functionality.