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Methods Mol Biol. 2014;1138:3-14. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-0348-1_1.

Dengue virus growth, purification, and fluorescent labeling.

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  • 1Emerging Infectious Diseases Program, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, 8 College Road, Singapore, 169857, Singapore.


The early events of the dengue virus life cycle involve virus binding, internalization, trafficking, and fusion. Fluorescently labeled viruses can be used to visualize these early processes. As dengue virus has 180 identical copies of the envelope protein attached to the membrane surface and is surrounded by a lipid membrane, amine-reactive (Alexa Fluor) or lipophilic (DiD) dyes can be used for virus labeling. These dyes are highly photostable and are ideal for studies involving cellular uptake and endosomal transport. To improve virus labeling efficiency and minimize the nonspecific labeling of nonviral proteins, virus concentration and purification precede fluorescent labeling of dengue viruses. Besides using these viruses for single-particle tracking, DiD-labeled viruses can also be used to distinguish serotype-specific from cross-neutralizing antibodies. Here the details of virus concentration, purification, virus labeling, applications, and hints of troubleshooting are described.

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