Facilitation of cell adhesion by immobilized dengue viral nonstructural protein 1 (NS1): arginine-glycine-aspartic acid structural mimicry within the dengue viral NS1 antigen

J Infect Dis. 2002 Sep 15;186(6):743-51. doi: 10.1086/342600. Epub 2002 Aug 28.


Dengue virus infection causes life-threatening hemorrhagic fever. Increasing evidence implies that dengue viral nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) exhibits a tendency to elicit potentially hazardous autoantibodies, which show a wide spectrum of specificity against extracellular matrix and platelet antigens. How NS1 elicits autoantibodies remains unclear. To address the hypothesis that NS1 and matrix proteins may have structural and functional similarity, cell-matrix and cell-NS1 interactions were evaluated using a cell-adhesion assay. The present study showed that dengue NS1 immobilized on coverslips resulted in more cell adhesion than did the control proteins. This cell adhesion was inhibited by peptides containing arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD), a motif important for integrin-mediated cell adhesion. In addition, anti-NS1 antibodies blocked RGD-mediated cell adhesion. Although there is no RGD motif in the NS1 protein sequence, these data indicate that RGD structural mimicry exists within the NS1 antigen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Antigens, Viral / chemistry*
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Antigens, Viral / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / chemistry
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / immunology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dengue / immunology
  • Dengue / pathology*
  • Dengue / virology*
  • Dengue Virus / chemistry*
  • Dengue Virus / immunology
  • Dengue Virus / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Mimicry
  • Oligopeptides / immunology
  • Oligopeptides / metabolism*
  • Rabbits
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / chemistry*
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / immunology
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / metabolism*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Oligopeptides
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins
  • arginyl-glycyl-aspartic acid