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Protein Expr Purif. 2013 Dec;92(2):156-62. doi: 10.1016/j.pep.2013.09.015. Epub 2013 Sep 29.

Lyso-myristoyl phosphatidylcholine micelles sustain the activity of Dengue non-structural (NS) protein 3 protease domain fused with the full-length NS2B.

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  • 1Experimental Therapeutics Centre, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A∗STAR), Singapore 138669, Singapore.


Dengue virus (DENV), a member of the flavivirus genus, affects 50-100 million people in tropical and sub-tropical regions. The DENV protease domain is located at the N-terminus of the NS3 protease and requires for its enzymatic activity a hydrophilic segment of the NS2B that acts as a cofactor. The protease is an important antiviral drug target because it plays a crucial role in virus replication by cleaving the genome-coded polypeptide into mature functional proteins. Currently, there are no drugs to inhibit DENV protease activity. Most structural and functional studies have been conducted using protein constructs containing the NS3 protease domain connected to a soluble segment of the NS2B membrane protein via a nine-residue linker. For in vitro structural and functional studies, it would be useful to produce a natural form of the DENV protease containing the NS3 protease domain and the full-length NS2B protein. Herein, we describe the expression and purification of a natural form of DENV protease (NS2BFL-NS3pro) containing the full-length NS2B protein and the protease domain of NS3 (NS3pro). The protease was expressed and purified in detergent micelles necessary for its folding. Our results show that this purified protein was active in detergent micelles such as lyso-myristoyl phosphatidylcholine (LMPC). These findings should facilitate further structural and functional studies of the protease and will facilitate drug discovery targeting DENV.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Dengue virus; Detergent micelles; Membrane protein; NS2B; Protease

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