Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Modulation of potassium channels inhibits bunyavirus infection

Hover, Samantha; King, Barnabas; Hall, Bradley; Loundras, Eleni-Anna; Taqi, Hussah; Daly, Janet M.; Dallas, Mark; Peers, Chris; Schnettler, Esther; McKimmie, Clive; Kohl, Alain; Barr, John N.; Mankouri, Jamel


Samantha Hover

Barnabas King

Bradley Hall

Eleni-Anna Loundras

Hussah Taqi

Janet M. Daly

Mark Dallas

Chris Peers

Esther Schnettler

Clive McKimmie

Alain Kohl

John N. Barr

Jamel Mankouri


Bunyaviruses are considered to be emerging pathogens facilitated by the segmented nature of their genome that allows reassortment between different species to generate novel viruses with altered pathogenicity. Bunyaviruses are transmitted via a diverse range of arthropod vectors, as well as rodents, and have established a global disease range with massive importance in healthcare, animal welfare, and economics. There are no vaccines or anti-viral therapies available to treat human bunyavirus infections and so development of new anti-viral strategies is urgently required. Bunyamwera virus (BUNV; genus Orthobunyavirus) is the model bunyavirus, sharing aspects of its molecular and cellular biology with all Bunyaviridae family members. Here, we show for the first time that BUNV activates and requires cellular potassium (K+) channels to infect cells. Time of addition assays using K+ channel modulating agents demonstrated that K+ channel function is critical to events shortly after virus entry but prior to viral RNA synthesis/replication. A similar K+channel dependence was identified for other bunyaviruses namely Schmallenberg virus (Orthobunyavirus) as well as the more distantly related Hazara virus (Nairovirus). Using a rational pharmacological screening regimen, two-pore domain K+ channels (K2P) were identified as the K+ channel family mediating BUNV K+ channel dependence. As several K2P channel modulators are currently in clinical use, our work suggests they may represent a new and safe drug class for the treatment of potentially lethal bunyavirus disease.


Hover, S., King, B., Hall, B., Loundras, E., Taqi, H., Daly, J. M., …Mankouri, J. (2016). Modulation of potassium channels inhibits bunyavirus infection. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291(7), 3411-3422.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 16, 2015
Online Publication Date Dec 16, 2015
Publication Date Feb 12, 2016
Deposit Date Jan 4, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jan 4, 2016
Journal Journal of Biological Chemistry
Print ISSN 0021-9258
Electronic ISSN 1083-351X
Publisher American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 291
Issue 7
Pages 3411-3422
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This research was originally published in Journal of Biological Chemistry. Samantha Hover, Barnabas King, Bradley Hall, Eleni-Anna Loundras, Hussah Taqi, Janet Daly, Mark Dallas, Chris Peers, Esther Schnettler, Clive McKimmie, Alain Kohl, John N. Barr, and Jamel Mankouri:
Modulation of potassium channels inhibits bunyavirus infection. Journal of Biological Chemistry. Papers in Press 16 December 2015. jbc.M115.692673 © the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


J. Biol. Chem.-2015-Hover-jbc.M115.692673.pdf (1.3 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

You might also like

Downloadable Citations