Intra-Serotype Polyprotein Variation and its Effect on Antigenicity of Dengue Virus
Polyprotein variation and antigenicity of dengue virus
Dengue virus is a mosquito-borne human pathogen, causing disease that ranges from mild febrile illness to life-threatening hemorrhage fever/ shock syndrome. The altered antigenicity and virulence in the dengue virus, resulting from the accumulation and fixation of the favorable mutations in the genome, is the cause of concern nowadays. The present study focuses on the comparative study of polyproteins of viral strains within each dengue serotype to understand the trend of intra-serotype polyprotein variation and its effect on the antigenicity. Polyprotein sequences of viral strains in each serotype were investigated using multivariate statistical analysis, phylogenetic analysis and multiple sequence alignment methods. Epitope prediction was done by Bepipred-1.0 server and experimental epitope data were extracted from Immune Epitope Database with BLAST search. The study reveals that the polyproteins of viral strains of a serotype have variable amino acid composition that corresponds to the geographical regions of origin. This compositional variation has occurred due to the presence of polymorphic residues at different positions along the polyprotein sequence. The polymorphic residues have also been identified at epitope regions of structural proteins as well as NS1 of viral strains, possessing dissimilar physicochemical properties and occupy surface accessible positions. These positions on epitopes with polymorphic, dissimilar and surface accessible residues might act as putative sites for generation of antigenic variation among viral strains of a serotype of different geographical origin. Thus, these polymorphic residue positions on epitopes might be considered as putative target for development of drug or vaccine, in future.
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