Structure of dengue virus: implications for flavivirus organization, maturation, and fusion

Cell. 2002 Mar 8;108(5):717-25. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(02)00660-8.


The first structure of a flavivirus has been determined by using a combination of cryoelectron microscopy and fitting of the known structure of glycoprotein E into the electron density map. The virus core, within a lipid bilayer, has a less-ordered structure than the external, icosahedral scaffold of 90 glycoprotein E dimers. The three E monomers per icosahedral asymmetric unit do not have quasiequivalent symmetric environments. Difference maps indicate the location of the small membrane protein M relative to the overlaying scaffold of E dimers. The structure suggests that flaviviruses, and by analogy also alphaviruses, employ a fusion mechanism in which the distal beta barrels of domain II of the glycoprotein E are inserted into the cellular membrane.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Capsid / chemistry
  • Cryoelectron Microscopy
  • Dengue Virus / chemistry*
  • Dengue Virus / genetics
  • Dengue Virus / physiology*
  • Dengue Virus / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry
  • Membrane Fusion / physiology
  • Models, Molecular
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / chemistry


  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Viral Envelope Proteins

Associated data

  • PDB/1K4R