Author(s): Yu IM, Holdaway HA, Chipman PR, Kuhn RJ, Rossmann MG,
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Abstract Flavivirus assembles into an inert particle that requires proteolytic activation by furin to enable transmission to other hosts. We previously showed that immature virus undergoes a conformational change at low pH that renders it accessible to furin (I. M. Yu, W. Zhang, H. A. Holdaway, L. Li, V. A. Kostyuchenko, P. R. Chipman, R. J. Kuhn, M. G. Rossmann, and J. Chen, Science 319:1834-1837, 2008). Here we show, using cryoelectron microscopy, that the structure of immature dengue virus at pH 6.0 is essentially the same before and after the cleavage of prM. The structure shows that after cleavage, the proteolytic product pr remains associated with the virion at acidic pH, and that furin cleavage by itself does not induce any major conformational changes. We also show by liposome cofloatation experiments that pr retention prevents membrane insertion, suggesting that pr is present on the virion in the trans-Golgi network to protect the progeny virus from fusion within the host cell.
This article was published in J Virol
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense