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Viruses 2017, 9(11), 338; doi:10.3390/v9110338

Structures and Functions of the Envelope Glycoprotein in Flavivirus Infections

1
Research Center of Avian Disease, College of Veterinary Medicine of Sichuan Agricultural University, Wenjiang District, Chengdu 611130, China
2
Institute of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Agricultural University, Wenjiang District, Chengdu 611130, China
3
Key Laboratory of Animal Disease and Human Health of Sichuan Province, Wenjiang District, Chengdu 611130, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 28 October 2017 / Accepted: 10 November 2017 / Published: 13 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Advances in Ebolavirus, Marburgvirus, and Cuevavirus Research)
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Abstract

Flaviviruses are enveloped, single-stranded RNA viruses that widely infect many animal species. The envelope protein, a structural protein of flavivirus, plays an important role in host cell viral infections. It is composed of three separate structural envelope domains I, II, and III (EDI, EDII, and EDIII). EDI is a structurally central domain of the envelope protein which stabilizes the overall orientation of the protein, and the glycosylation sites in EDI are related to virus production, pH sensitivity, and neuroinvasiveness. EDII plays an important role in membrane fusion because of the immunodominance of the fusion loop epitope and the envelope dimer epitope. Additionally, EDIII is the major target of neutralization antibodies. The envelope protein is an important target for research to develop vaccine candidates and antiviral therapeutics. This review summarizes the structures and functions of ED I/II/III, and provides practical applications for the three domains, with the ultimate goal of implementing strategies to utilize the envelope protein against flavivirus infections, thus achieving better diagnostics and developing potential flavivirus therapeutics and vaccines. View Full-Text
Keywords: flavivirus; envelope protein; envelope domains I/II/III; membrane fusion; viral infection flavivirus; envelope protein; envelope domains I/II/III; membrane fusion; viral infection
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, X.; Jia, R.; Shen, H.; Wang, M.; Yin, Z.; Cheng, A. Structures and Functions of the Envelope Glycoprotein in Flavivirus Infections. Viruses 2017, 9, 338.

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