Serotype-specific interactions among functional domains of dengue virus 2 nonstructural proteins (NS) 5 and NS3 are crucial for viral RNA replication

Tadahisa Teramoto, Anuradha Balasubramanian, Kyung H. Choi, Radhakrishnan Padmanabhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Four serotypes of mosquito-borne dengue virus (DENV), evolved from a common ancestor, are human pathogens of global significance for which there is no vaccine or antiviral drug available. The N-terminal domain of DENV NS5 has guanylyl-transferase and methyltransferase (MTase), and the C-terminal region has the polymerase (POL), all of which are important for 5-capping and RNA replication. The crystal structure of NS5 shows it as a dimer, but the functional evidence for NS5 dimer is lacking. Our studies showed that the substitution of DENV2 NS5 MTase or POL for DENV4 NS5 within DENV2 RNA resulted in a severe attenuation of replication in the transfected BHK-21 cells. A replication-competent species was evolved with the acquired mutations in the DENV2 and DENV4 NS5 MTase or POL domain or in the DENV2 NS3 helicase domain in the DENV2 chimera RNAs by repeated passaging of infected BHK-21 or mosquito cells. The linker region of seven residues in NS5, rich in serotype-specific residues, is important for the recovery of replication fitness in the chimera RNA. Our results, taken together, provide genetic evidence for a serotype-specific interaction between NS3 and NS5 as well as specific interdomain interaction within NS5 required for RNA replication. Genome-wide RNAseq analysis revealed the distribution of adaptive mutations in RNA quasispecies. Those within NS3 and NS5 are located at the surface and/or within the NS5 dimer interface, providing a functional significance to the crystal structure NS5 dimer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9465-9479
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 9 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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