The dengue virus type 2 envelope protein fusion peptide is essential for membrane fusion

Virology. 2010 Jan 20;396(2):305-15. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2009.10.027. Epub 2009 Nov 12.


The flaviviral envelope (E) protein directs virus-mediated membrane fusion. To investigate membrane fusion as a requirement for virus growth, we introduced 27 unique mutations into the fusion peptide of an infectious cDNA clone of dengue 2 virus and recovered seven stable mutant viruses. The fusion efficiency of the mutants was impaired, demonstrating for the first time the requirement for specific FP AAs in optimal fusion. Mutant viruses exhibited different growth kinetics and/or genetic stabilities in different cell types and adult mosquitoes. Virus particles could be recovered following RNA transfection of cells with four lethal mutants; however, recovered viruses could not re-infect cells. These viruses could enter cells, but internalized virus appeared to be retained in endosomal compartments of infected cells, thus suggesting a fusion blockade. Mutations of the FP also resulted in reduced virus reactivity with flavivirus group-reactive antibodies, confirming earlier reports using virus-like particles.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / virology
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Cell Line
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Dengue / virology
  • Dengue Virus / genetics
  • Dengue Virus / physiology*
  • Female
  • Membrane Fusion / physiology*
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Transfection
  • Vero Cells
  • Viral Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Fusion Proteins / physiology*
  • Virus Replication / genetics
  • Virus Replication / physiology


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Viral Fusion Proteins