Using computational approaches to study dengue virus capsid assembly. (English) Zbl 1439.92145

Summary: Dengue viral capsid plays a significant role in viral life cycle of dengue, especially in vial genome protection and virus-cell fusion. Revealing mechanisms of the viral capsid protein assembly may lead to the discovery of anti-viral drugs that inhibit the assembly of the viral capsid. The E and M-proteins are arranged into heterotetramers, which consists of two copies of E and M-protein. The heterotetramers are assembled into a highly ordered capsid. While many investigations of the interactions between E and M-proteins have been performed, there are very few studies on the interactions between the heterotetramers and their roles in capsid assembly. Utilizing a series of computational approaches, this study focuses on the assembly mechanism of the heterotetramers. Our electrostatic analyses lead to the identification of four binding modes between each two dengue heterotetramers that repeat periodically throughout the virus capsid. Among these four binding modes, heterotetramers in binding modes I, II and IV are attractive. But in the binding mode III the heterotetramers repel each other, making mode III a suitable target for drug design. Furthermore, MD simulations were performed following by salt bridges analysis. This study demonstrates that using computational approaches is a promising direction to study the dengue virus.


92D20 Protein sequences, DNA sequences
92C40 Biochemistry, molecular biology
92-08 Computational methods for problems pertaining to biology
Full Text: DOI


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