Near-atomic resolution cryo-electron microscopic structure of dengue serotype 4 virus

J Virol. 2014 Jan;88(1):477-82. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02641-13. Epub 2013 Oct 23.


Dengue virus (DENV), a mosquito-borne virus, is responsible for millions of cases of infections worldwide. There are four DENV serotypes (DENV1 to -4). After a primary DENV infection, the antibodies elicited confer lifetime protection against that DENV serotype. However, in a secondary infection with another serotype, the preexisting antibodies may cause antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of infection of macrophage cells, leading to the development of the more severe form of disease, dengue hemorrhagic fever. Thus, a safe vaccine should stimulate protection against all dengue serotypes simultaneously. To facilitate the development of a vaccine, good knowledge of different DENV serotype structures is crucial. Structures of DENV1 and DENV2 had been solved previously. Here we present a near-atomic resolution cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of mature DENV4. Comparison of the DENV4 structure with similar-resolution cryo-EM structures of DENV1 and DENV2 showed differences in surface charge distribution, which may explain their differences in binding to cellular receptors, such as heparin. Also, observed variations in amino acid residues involved in interactions between envelope and membrane proteins on the virus surface correlate with their ability to undergo structural changes at higher temperatures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Cryoelectron Microscopy / methods*
  • Dengue Virus / immunology
  • Dengue Virus / ultrastructure*


  • Antibodies, Viral