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Published in Journal of Biological Chemistry 270:32 (August 11, 1995), pp. 19100–19106. Copyright ©1995 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. Used by permission.


Dengue virus type 2, a member of the family Flaviviridae, encodes a single polyprotein precursor consisting of 3391 amino acid residues that is processed to at least 10 mature proteins by host and viral proteases. The NS3 protein contains a domain commonly found in cellular serine proteinases that in cooperation with NS2B is involved in polyprotein processing. In addition, NS3 and NS5 proteins contain conserved motifs found in several RNA helicases and RNA-dependent RNA polymerases, respectively. Both enzymatic activities have been suggested to be involved in viral RNA replication. In this report, we demonstrate that the NS3 and NS5 proteins interact in vivo in dengue virus type 2-infected monkey kidney (CV-1) cells and in HeLa cells coinfected with recombinant vaccinia viruses encoding these proteins as shown by coimmunoprecipitations and immunoblotting methods. We also show by immunofluorescence, metabolic labeling, and two-dimensional peptide mapping that NS5 is a nuclear phosphoprotein and that phosphorylation occurs on serine residues at multiple sites. Furthermore, NS5 exists in differentially phosphorylated states in the nuclear and the cytoplasmic fractions, and only the cytoplasmic form of NS5 is found to coimmunoprecipitate with NS3, suggesting that differential phosphorylation may control the interaction between these proteins and its function in the viral RNA replicase.

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