The dengue virus (DENV) nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) is an immunogenic protein that holds potential for the development of vaccines and diagnostic reagents; however, the epitopes of NS1 have not been comprehensively mapped. We mapped B-cell linear epitopes on NS1 using 149 monoclonal antibodies with DENV serotype specificity and cross-reactivity as well as antisera from 27 mice immunized with the four DENV serotypes. Epitope recognition analysis was performed using a set of 15-mer sequential overlapping peptides that spanned the entire NS1 protein from DENV-1. This strategy identified three regions of NS1 that are DENV-1 serotype-specific epitopes, namely amino acid residues 1-15, 71-85, and 338-352. We also identified five group-specific B-cell epitopes that were highly conserved among isolates of the four DENV serotypes. These novel immunodominant serotype- and group-specific B-cell epitopes of DENV NS1 may aid the development of new dengue vaccines and diagnostic assays.
Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.