Serotype-specific structural differences in the protease-cofactor complexes of the dengue virus family.
ABSTRACT: With an estimated 40% of the world population at risk, dengue poses a significant threat to human health, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. Preventative and curative efforts, such as vaccine development and drug discovery, face additional challenges due to the occurrence of four antigenically distinct serotypes of the causative dengue virus (DEN1 to -4). Complex immune responses resulting from repeat assaults by the different serotypes necessitate simultaneous targeting of all forms of the virus. One of the promising targets for drug development is the highly conserved two-component viral protease NS2B-NS3, which plays an essential role in viral replication by processing the viral precursor polyprotein into functional proteins. In this paper, we report the 2.1-A crystal structure of the DEN1 NS2B hydrophilic core (residues 49 to 95) in complex with the NS3 protease domain (residues 1 to 186) carrying an internal deletion in the N terminus (residues 11 to 20). While the overall folds within the protease core are similar to those of DEN2 and DEN4 proteases, the conformation of the cofactor NS2B is dramatically different from those of other flaviviral apoprotease structures. The differences are especially apparent within its C-terminal region, implicated in substrate binding. The structure reveals for the first time serotype-specific structural elements in the dengue virus family, with the reported alternate conformation resulting from a unique metal-binding site within the DEN1 sequence. We also report the identification of a 10-residue stretch within NS3pro that separates the substrate-binding function from the catalytic turnover rate of the enzyme. Implications for broad-spectrum drug discovery are discussed.
Project description:Dengue virus (DENV), transmitted predominantly in tropical and subtropical regions by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, infects millions of people and leads to dengue fever and thousands of deaths each year. There are no direct-acting antivirals to combat DENV, and molecular and structural knowledge is required to develop such compounds. The dengue NS2B/NS3 protease is a promising target for direct-acting antivirals, as viral polyprotein cleavage during replication is required for the maturation of the viral particle. The NS2B/NS3 protease processes 8 of the 13 viral polyprotein cleavage sites to allow viral maturation. Although these sites share little sequence homology beyond the P1 and P2 positions, most are well conserved among the serotypes. How the other substrate residues, especially at the P' side, affect substrate recognition remains unclear. We exploited the tight-binding general serine protease inhibitor aprotinin to investigate protease-substrate interactions at the molecular level. We engineered aprotinin's binding loop with sequences mimicking the P' side of DENV substrates. P' residues significantly modulate substrate affinity to protease, with inhibition constants varying from nanomolar to sub-millimolar. Structural and dynamic analysis revealed the molecular basis of this modulation and allowed identifying optimal residues for each of the P' positions. In addition, isothermal titration calorimetry showed binding to be solely entropy driven for all constructs. Potential flaviviral P' side inhibitors could benefit from mimicking the optimal residues at P' positions and incorporate hydrophobicity and rigidity to maintain entropic advantage for potency.
Project description:Dengue virus (DENV) causes disease globally, with an estimated 25 to 100 million new infections per year. At present, no effective vaccine is available, and treatment is supportive. In this study, we identified BP2109, a potent and selective small-molecule inhibitor of the DENV NS2B/NS3 protease, by a high-throughput screening assay using a recombinant protease complex consisting of the central hydrophilic portion of NS2B and the N terminus of the protease domain. BP2109 inhibited DENV (serotypes 1 to 4), but not Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), replication and viral RNA synthesis without detectable cytotoxicity. The compound inhibited recombinant DENV-2 NS2B/NS3 protease with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) of 15.43 ± 2.12 ?M and reduced the reporter expression of the DENV-2 replicon with a 50% effective concentration (EC(50)) of 0.17 ± 0.01 ?M. Sequencing analyses of several individual clones derived from BP2109-resistant DENV-2 RNAs revealed that two amino acid substitutions (R55K and E80K) are found in the region of NS2B, a cofactor of the NS2B/NS3 protease complex. The introduction of R55K and E80K double mutations into the dengue virus NS2B/NS3 protease and a dengue virus replicon construct conferred 10.3- and 73.8-fold resistance to BP2109, respectively. The E80K mutation was further determined to be the key mutation conferring dengue virus replicon resistance (61.3-fold) to BP2109, whereas the R55K mutation alone did not affect resistance to BP2109. Both the R55K and E80K mutations are located in the central hydrophilic portion of the NS2B cofactor, where extensive interactions with the NS3pro domain exist. Thus, our data provide evidence that BP2109 likely inhibits DENV by a novel mechanism.
Project description:To identify the circulating serotype(s) of dengue viruses in Bangladesh, a retrospective molecular identification was performed on stored serum samples of dengue surveillance during the period of 2013-2016. Real time RT-PCR was performed on serum samples collected from the patients with less than 5 days fever for detection of dengue virus nucleic acid. The samples, positive for dengue PCR were further analyzed for serotypes by real time RT-PCR. The overall prevalence of dengue virus infection was varied among 13-42% in study years with a single peak flanked by April to September. Among the four dengue serotypes DEN1 and DEN2 were in the circulation in three metropolitan cities with sequential emergence of DEN1 where DEN2 was persisted constantly during the study period. Persistence of all four serotypes in the neighboring country makes Bangladesh vulnerable for devastating secondary infection by introduction of new serotype(s) other than currently circulating viruses in the country. Thus continuous virological surveillance is crucial for early warning of emergence of new serotype in the circulation and public health preparedness.
Project description:Proteolytic processing of the dengue virus polyprotein is mediated by host cell proteases and the virus-encoded NS2B-NS3 two-component protease. The NS3 protease represents an attractive target for the development of antiviral inhibitors. The three-dimensional structure of the NS3 protease domain has been determined, but the structural determinants necessary for activation of the enzyme by the NS2B cofactor have been characterized only to a limited extent. To test a possible functional role of the recently proposed Phix(3)Phi motif in NS3 protease activation, we targeted six residues within the NS2B cofactor by site-specific mutagenesis. Residues Trp62, Ser71, Leu75, Ile77, Thr78, and Ile79 in NS2B were replaced with alanine, and in addition, an L75A/I79A double mutant was generated. The effects of these mutations on the activity of the NS2B(H)-NS3pro protease were analyzed in vitro by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis of autoproteolytic cleavage at the NS2B/NS3 site and by assay of the enzyme with the fluorogenic peptide substrate GRR-AMC. Compared to the wild type, the L75A, I77A, and I79A mutants demonstrated inefficient autoproteolysis, whereas in the W62A and the L75A/I79A mutants self-cleavage appeared to be almost completely abolished. With exception of the S71A mutant, which had a k(cat)/K(m) value for the GRR-AMC peptide similar to that of the wild type, all other mutants exhibited drastically reduced k(cat) values. These results indicate a pivotal function of conserved residues Trp62, Leu75, and Ile79 in the NS2B cofactor in the structural activation of the dengue virus NS3 serine protease.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Due to dengue virus disease, half of the world population is at severe health risk. Viral encoded NS2B-NS3 protease complex causes cleavage in the nonstructural region of the viral polyprotein. The cleavage is essentially required for fully functional viral protein. It has already been reported that if function of NS2B-NS3 complex is disrupted, viral replication is inhibited. Therefore, the NS2B-NS3 is a well-characterized target for designing antiviral drug. RESULTS:In this study docking analysis was performed with active site of dengue NS2B-NS3 protein with selected plant flavonoids. More than 100 flavonoids were used for docking analysis. On the basis of docking results 10 flavonoids might be considered as the best inhibitors of NS2B-NS3 protein. The interaction studies showed resilient interactions between ligand and receptor atoms. Furthermore, QSAR and SAR studies were conducted on the basis of NS2B-NS3 protease complex docking results. The value of correlation coefficient (r) 0.95 shows that there was a good correlation between flavonoid structures and selected properties. CONCLUSION:We hereby suggest that plant flavonoids could be used as potent inhibitors of dengue NS2B-NS3 protein and can be used as antiviral agents against dengue virus. Out of more than hundred plant flavonoids, ten flavonoid structures are presented in this study. On the basis of best docking results, QSAR and SAR studies were performed. These flavonoids can directly work as anti-dengue drug or with little modifications in their structures.
Project description:There are currently no vaccines or therapeutics to prevent dengue disease which ranges in severity from asymptomatic infections to life-threatening illness. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Division of Intramural Research has developed live, attenuated vaccines to each of the four dengue serotypes (DENV-1-DENV-4). Two doses (10PFU and 1000PFU) of three monovalent vaccines were tested in human clinical trials to compare safety and immunogenicity profiles. DEN4?30 had been tested previously at multiple doses. The three dengue vaccine candidates tested (DEN1?30, DEN2/4?30, and DEN3?30/31) were very infectious, each with a human infectious dose 50%? 10PFU. Further, infectivity rates ranged from 90 to 100% regardless of dose, excepting DEN2/4?30 which dropped from 100% at the 1000PFU dose to 60% at the 10PFU dose. Mean geometric peak antibody titers did not differ significantly between doses for DEN1?30 (92 ± 19 vs. 214 ± 97, p=0.08); however, significant differences were observed between the 10PFU and 1000PFU doses for DEN2/4?30, 19 ± 9 vs. 102 ± 25 (p=0.001), and DEN3?30/31, 119 ± 135 vs. 50 ± 50 (p=0.046). No differences in the incidences of rash, neutropenia, or viremia were observed between doses for any vaccines, though the mean peak titer of viremia for DEN1?30 was higher at the 1000PFU dose (0.5 ± 0 vs. 1.1 ± 0.1, p=0.007). These data demonstrate that a target dose of 1000PFU for inclusion of each dengue serotype into a tetravalent vaccine is likely to be safe and generate a balanced immune response for all serotypes.
Project description:Dengue Virus (DENV) is the most prevalent global arbovirus, yet despite an increasing burden to health care there are currently no therapeutics available to treat infection. A potential target for antiviral drugs is the two-component viral protease NS2B-NS3pro, which is essential for viral replication. Interactions between the two components have been investigated here by probing the effect on the rate of enzyme catalysis of key mutations in a mobile loop within NS2B that is located at the interface of the two components. Steady-state kinetic assays indicated that the mutations greatly affect catalytic turnover. However, single turnover and fluorescence experiments have revealed that the mutations predominantly affect product release rather than substrate binding. Fluorescence analysis also indicated that the addition of substrate triggers a near-irreversible change in the enzyme conformation that activates the catalytic centre. Based on this mechanistic insight, we propose that residues within the mobile loop of NS2B control product release and present a new target for design of potent Dengue NS2B-NS3 protease inhibitors.
Project description:Dengue is a severe mosquito-borne viral infection causing half a million deaths annually. Dengue virus NS2B/NS3 protease is a validated target for anti-dengue drug design. A series of hitherto unreported 3,5-bis(arylidene)-4-piperidones analogues 4a-4j were synthesized and screened in silico against DENV2 NS2B/NS3 protease to elucidate their binding mechanism and orientation around the active sites. Results were validated through an in vitro DENV2 NS2B/NS3 protease assay using a fluorogenic Boc-Gly-Arg-Arg-AMC substrate. Nitro derivatives of 3,5-bis(arylidene)-4-piperidones (4e and 4j) emerged as promising lead molecules for novel protease inhibitors with an IC50 of 15.22 and 16.23 µmol/L, respectively, compared to the standard, panduratin A, having IC50 of 57.28 µmol/L.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The two-component NS2B-NS3 proteases of West Nile and dengue viruses are essential for viral replication and established targets for drug development. In all crystal structures of the proteases to date, the NS2B cofactor is located far from the substrate binding site (open conformation) in the absence of inhibitor and lining the substrate binding site (closed conformation) in the presence of an inhibitor. METHODS: In this work, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of isotope and spin-labeled samples of the West Nile virus protease was used to investigate the occurrence of equilibria between open and closed conformations in solution. FINDINGS: In solution, the closed form of the West Nile virus protease is the predominant conformation irrespective of the presence or absence of inhibitors. Nonetheless, dissociation of the C-terminal part of the NS2B cofactor from the NS3 protease (open conformation) occurs in both the presence and the absence of inhibitors. Low-molecular-weight inhibitors can shift the conformational exchange equilibria so that over 90% of the West Nile virus protease molecules assume the closed conformation. The West Nile virus protease differs from the dengue virus protease, where the open conformation is the predominant form in the absence of inhibitors. CONCLUSION: Partial dissociation of NS2B from NS3 has implications for the way in which the NS3 protease can be positioned with respect to the host cell membrane when NS2B is membrane associated via N- and C-terminal segments present in the polyprotein. In the case of the West Nile virus protease, discovery of low-molecular-weight inhibitors that act by breaking the association of the NS2B cofactor with the NS3 protease is impeded by the natural affinity of the cofactor to the NS3 protease. The same strategy can be more successful in the case of the dengue virus NS2B-NS3 protease.
Project description:Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral hemorrhagic disease that is a major threat to human health in tropical and subtropical regions. Here we report crystal structures of a peptide covalently bound to dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV-3) protease as well as the serine-protease inhibitor aprotinin bound to the same enzyme. These structures reveal, for the first time, a catalytically active, closed conformation of the DENV protease. In the presence of the peptide, the DENV-3 protease forms the closed conformation in which the hydrophilic β-hairpin region of NS2B wraps around the NS3 protease core, in a manner analogous to the structure of West Nile virus (WNV) protease. Our results confirm that flavivirus proteases form the closed conformation during proteolysis, as previously proposed for WNV. The current DENV-3 protease structures reveal the detailed interactions at the P4' to P3 sites of the substrate. The new structural information explains the sequence preference, particularly for long basic residues in the nonprime side, as well as the difference in substrate specificity between the WNV and DENV proteases at the prime side. Structural analysis of the DENV-3 protease-peptide complex revealed a pocket that is formed by residues from NS2B and NS3; this pocket also exists in the WNV NS2B/NS3 protease structure and could be targeted for potential antivirus development. The structural information presented in the current study is invaluable for the design of specific inhibitors of DENV protease.