Structural dynamics of Zika virus NS1 via a reductionist approach reveal the disordered nature of its β-roll domain in isolation

Virology. 2022 Jun 14;573:72-83. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2022.06.005. Online ahead of print.


Flavivirus Non-structural 1 (NS1) protein performs multiple functions and it is highly plausible that significant structural and folding dynamics of NS1 might play a role in its multifunctionality. It is important to understand the structural conformations of NS1 and its domains in isolation, possibly highlighting the implications on the overall NS1 protein dynamics. Therefore, we have employed extensively long molecular dynamic (MD) simulations in understanding the dynamics of the three structural domains (i.e., β-roll, wing, and β-ladder) in isolation, as a reductionist approach. We also found that the β-ladder domain is highly flexible, while the β-roll domain is disordered during long simulations. Further, we experimentally validated our findings using CD spectroscopy and confirmed the intrinsically disordered behavior of NS1 β-roll in isolation and lipid mimetic environments. Therefore, we believe this study may have implications for significant dynamics played by NS1 protein, specifically during oligomerization of NS1.

Keywords: Conformational dynamics; Lipid mimetics; Molecular dynamics simulations; Structural disorder.