Structure of the immature dengue virus at low pH primes proteolytic maturation

I. Mei Yu, Wei Zhang, Heather A. Holdaway, Long Li, Victor A. Kostyuchenko, Paul R. Chipman, Richard J. Kuhn, Michael G. Rossmann, Jue Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

506 Scopus citations


Intracellular cleavage of immature flaviviruses is a critical step in assembly that generates the membrane fusion potential of the E glycoprotein. With cryo-electron microscopy we show that the immature dengue particles undergo a reversible conformational change at low pH that renders them accessible to furin cleavage. At a pH of 6.0, the E proteins are arranged in a herringbone pattern with the pr peptides docked onto the fusion loops, a configuration similar to that of the mature virion. After cleavage, the dissociation of pr is pH-dependent, suggesting that in the acidic environment of the trans-Golgi network pr is retained on the virion to prevent membrane fusion. These results suggest a mechanism by which flaviviruses are processed and stabilized in the host cell secretory pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1834-1837
Number of pages4
Issue number5871
StatePublished - Mar 28 2008


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