Molecular Playground/Tamiflu

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Molecular Playground at the University of Massachusetts. MOVIE.

The World Health Organization and the governments of many countries have collectively stockpiled hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the anti-influenza drug Tamiflu in order to be prepared for an influenza pandemic.

It is lucky that the H1N1 "swine flu" that arose in Mexico in 2009 is treatable by (sensitive to) Tamiflu. Many strains of influenza are no longer treatable with Tamiflu. They have developed mutations that make them resistant to the drug. Notably, the H5N1 avian influenza, a likely source of a future pandemic, is largely resistant. Unfortunately, as human cases of H1N1 flu are treated with Tamiflu, it, too, will likely soon develop drug resistance.


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Shown at right () is the drug Tamiflu (generic name oseltamivir; some parts not shown[1]).

For more about this topic, please see Avian Influenza Neuraminidase, Tamiflu and Relenza.

Molecular Playground Animation

You may rotate the molecule at any time during the animation.

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 Play Animation button above runs a Jmol command script, which was authored by hand, and uploaded to Proteopedia. You can examine the script at Image:MP tamiflu.spt, which calls Image:MPSupportVersion01.spt (see also Molecular Playground/Authoring). The atomic coordinate file (PDB file) displayed above (Image:2hu4 chain a.pdb) contains chain A from 2hu4.

Additional Resources

For additional information, see: Influenza


  1. The Tamiflu structure shown on this page is that resolved by X-ray diffraction at 2.5 Å resolution in 2hu4: hydrogens are not shown, some double bonds are not shown, and the ethyl group that esterifies the carboxylate is missing -- see Tamiflu.Com or oseltamivir at Wikipedia for the complete structure.

Proteopedia Page Contributors and Editors (what is this?)

Eric Martz, David Canner

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