CD-loop Extension in Zika Virus Envelope Protein Key for Stability and Pathogenesis

Emily N. Gallichotte, Kenneth H. Dinnon, Xin Ni Lim, Thiam Seng Ng, Elisa X.Y. Lim, Vineet D. Menachery, Shee Mei Lok, Ralph S. Baric

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


With severe disease manifestations including microcephaly, congenital malformation, and Guillain-Barré syndrome, Zika virus (ZIKV) remains a persistent global public health threat. Despite antigenic similarities with dengue viruses, structural studies have suggested the extended CD-loop and hydrogen-bonding interaction network within the ZIKV envelope protein contribute to stability differences between the viral families. Tis enhanced stability may lead to the augmented infection, disease manifestation, and persistence in body fuids seen following ZIKV infection. To examine the role of these motifs in infection, we generated a series of ZIKV recombinant viruses that disrupted the hydrogen-bonding network (350A, 351A, and 350A/351A) or the CD-loop extension (f346). Our results demonstrate a key role for the ZIKV extended CD-loop in cell-type-dependent replication, virion stability, and in vivo pathogenesis. Importantly, the f346 mutant maintains similar antigenicity to wild-type virus, opening the possibility for its use as a live-attenuated vaccine platform for ZIKV and other clinically relevant flaviviruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1196-1204
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2017


  • Cryo-electron microscopy
  • Flavivirus
  • Stability
  • Structural virology
  • Zika virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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