Investigating the folding dynamics of NS2B protein of Zika virus

Virology. 2023 Jul;584:24-36. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2023.04.012. Epub 2023 May 6.


NS2B protein of the Zika virus acts as a co-factor for NS3 protease and also involves in remodeling NS3 protease structure. Therefore, we investigated the overall dynamics of NS2B protein. We find surprising similarities between selected flavivirus NS2B model structures predicted from Alphafold2. Further, the simulated ZIKV NS2B protein structure shows a disordered cytosolic domain (residues 45-95) as a part of a full-length protein. Since only the cytosolic domain of NS2B is sufficient for the protease activity, we also investigated the conformational dynamics of only ZIKV NS2B cytosolic domain (residues 49-95) in the presence of TFE, SDS, Ficoll, and PEG using simulation and spectroscopy. The presence of TFE induces α-helix in NS2B cytosolic domain (residues 49-95). On the other hand, the presence of SDS, ficoll, and PEG does not induce secondary structural change. This dynamics study could have implications for some unknown folds of the NS2B protein.

Keywords: Disorder protein; Flavivirus; MD simulation; NS2B protein; Zika virus.

MeSH terms

  • Ficoll / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Peptide Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / metabolism
  • Zika Virus Infection*
  • Zika Virus* / metabolism


  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins
  • Ficoll
  • Peptide Hydrolases