Structural changes in dengue virus when exposed to a temperature of 37°C

J Virol. 2013 Jul;87(13):7585-92. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00757-13. Epub 2013 May 1.


Previous binding studies of antibodies that recognized a partially or fully hidden epitope suggest that insect cell-derived dengue virus undergoes structural changes at an elevated temperature. This was confirmed by our cryo-electron microscopy images of dengue virus incubated at 37°C, where viruses change their surface from smooth to rough. Here we present the cryo-electron microscopy structures of dengue virus at 37°C. Image analysis showed four classes of particles. The three-dimensional (3D) map of one of these classes, representing half of the imaged virus population, shows that the E protein shell has expanded and there is a hole at the 3-fold vertices. Fitting E protein structures into the map suggests that all of the interdimeric and some intradimeric E protein interactions are weakened. The accessibility of some previously found cryptic epitopes on this class of particles is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cryoelectron Microscopy
  • Culicidae
  • Dengue Virus / chemistry*
  • Dengue Virus / ultrastructure*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Protein Conformation*
  • Rosaniline Dyes
  • Temperature*
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / ultrastructure*


  • Rosaniline Dyes
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • Coomassie blue