Flavivirus membrane fusion.
ABSTRACT Flavivirus membrane fusion is mediated by a class II viral fusion protein, the major envelope protein E, and the fusion process is extremely fast and efficient. Understanding of the underlying mechanisms has been advanced significantly by the determination of E protein structures in their pre- and post-fusion conformations and by the elucidation of the quarternary organization of E proteins in the viral envelope. In this review, these structural data are discussed in the context of functional and biochemical analyses of the flavivirus fusion mechanism and its characteristics are compared with those of other class II- and class I-driven fusion processes.
- SourceAvailable from: Antonio PonzettoCurrent Molecular Medicine 01/2012; · 4.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a mosquito-borne flavivirus that causes fatal neurological disease in humans, is one of the most important emerging pathogens of public health significance. JEV represents the JE serogroup, which also includes West Nile, Murray Valley encephalitis, and St. Louis encephalitis viruses. Within this serogroup, JEV is a vaccine-preventable pathogen, but the molecular basis of its neurovirulence remains unknown. Here, we constructed an infectious cDNA of the most widely used live-attenuated JE vaccine, SA14-14-2, and rescued from the cDNA a molecularly cloned virus, SA14-14-2MCV, which displayed in vitro growth properties and in vivo attenuation phenotypes identical to those of its parent, SA14-14-2. To elucidate the molecular mechanism of neurovirulence, we selected three independent, highly neurovirulent variants (LD50, <1.5 PFU) from SA14-14-2MCV (LD50, >1.5×105 PFU) by serial intracerebral passage in mice. Complete genome sequence comparison revealed a total of eight point mutations, with a common single G1708→A substitution replacing a Gly with Glu at position 244 of the viral E glycoprotein. Using our infectious SA14-14-2 cDNA technology, we showed that this single Gly-to-Glu change at E-244 is sufficient to confer lethal neurovirulence in mice, including rapid development of viral spread and tissue inflammation in the central nervous system. Comprehensive site-directed mutagenesis of E-244, coupled with homology-based structure modeling, demonstrated a novel essential regulatory role in JEV neurovirulence for E-244, within the ij hairpin of the E dimerization domain. In both mouse and human neuronal cells, we further showed that the E-244 mutation altered JEV infectivity in vitro, in direct correlation with the level of neurovirulence in vivo, but had no significant impact on viral RNA replication. Our results provide a crucial step toward developing novel therapeutic and preventive strategies against JEV and possibly other encephalitic flaviviruses.PLoS Pathogens 07/2014; 10(7):e1004290. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Dengue is a vector borne viral disease which causes millions of death in the tropical regions. Entry of dengue virus is mediated by conformational change in envelope protein due to change in endosomal pH. The structural study of dengue envelope protein (DENV) reveals that domain-III of envelope protein exhibits largest conformational change during entry of virus. Hence, a drug which may block this conformational change will be relatively more effective. The present work aims to explore the hot spots and key interacting residues of some known drugs using molecular docking, molecular dynamic simulations and free energy calculations. We have explored the conformational changes in envelope protein in presence of different drugs and pointed out those residues which commonly participate in binding of all drugs. The binding of these drugs was calculated by free energy and molecular docking methods and their relative accuracy were also compared. We have found several amino acids commonly interacting to all five drugs. In addition, the results of molecular dynamic simulations were more reliable than molecular docking. The binding free energy of drug R1 is better than the other drugs which follows the experimental observations. The root mean square deviations for R1 are better than the other drugs which also supports a stable (less flexible) binding for this drug.BioMed Research International 09/2014; · 2.71 Impact Factor