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Biol Chem. 2009 Apr;390(4):319-23. doi: 10.1515/BC.2009.041.

Flavivirus NS5 associates with host-cell proteins zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and regulating synaptic membrane exocytosis-2 (RIMS2) via an internal PDZ binding mechanism.

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School of Life Sciences, Södertörn University, S-14189 Huddinge, Sweden and Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Toxicology, Stockholm University, S-106 91, Stockholm, Sweden.


Dengue virus (DENV) and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) are flaviviruses, which can cause lethal hemorrhagic fever and encephalitis, respectively. Here, we demonstrate that the TBEV-NS5 and DENV-NS5 proteins use an internal binding mechanism to target human PDZ proteins. TBEV-NS5 has high affinity to regulating synaptic membrane exocytosis-2 (RIMS2) and Scribble, whereas DENV-NS5 binds primarily to the tight junction protein zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1). Targeting of TBEV-NS5 to the plasma membrane is stabilised by ZO-1; however, DENV-NS5 co-localises with ZO-1 in the nucleus. These interactions have potential important roles in the ability of flaviviruses to manipulate cell proliferation, junction permeability and the interferon pathways.

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