Send to

Choose Destination
Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2016 Sep;9(9):844-850. doi: 10.1016/j.apjtm.2016.07.004. Epub 2016 Jul 26.

Prediction of promiscuous T-cell epitopes in the Zika virus polyprotein: An in silico approach.

Author information

Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB), National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan.
Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB), National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan. Electronic address:
Shifa College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Foundation University Medical College, Foundation University Islamabad, DHA-I, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan. Electronic address:



To predict immunogenic promiscuous T cell epitopes from the polyprotein of the Zika virus using a range of bioinformatics tools. To date, no epitope data are available for the Zika virus in the IEDB database.


We retrieved nearly 54 full length polyprotein sequences of the Zika virus from the NCBI database belonging to different outbreaks. A consensus sequence was then used to predict the promiscuous T cell epitopes that bind MHC 1 and MHC II alleles using PorPred1 and ProPred immunoinformatic algorithms respectively. The antigenicity predicted score was also calculated for each predicted epitope using the VaxiJen 2.0 tool.


By using ProPred1, 23 antigenic epitopes for HLA class I and 48 antigenic epitopes for HLA class II were predicted from the consensus polyprotein sequence of Zika virus. The greatest number of MHC class I binding epitopes were projected within the NS5 (21%), followed by Envelope (17%). For MHC class II, greatest number of predicted epitopes were in NS5 (19%) followed by the Envelope, NS1 and NS2 (17% each). A variety of epitopes with good binding affinity, promiscuity and antigenicity were predicted for both the HLA classes.


The predicted conserved promiscuous T-cell epitopes examined in this study were reported for the first time and will contribute to the imminent design of Zika virus vaccine candidates, which will be able to induce a broad range of immune responses in a heterogeneous HLA population. However, our results can be verified and employed in future efficacious vaccine formulations only after successful experimental studies.


Antigenicity; B-cell epitopes; T-cell epitopes; Vaccine; Zika virus

Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center