Structure and sequence based functional annotation of Zika virus NS2b protein: Computational insights

Daniel Aguilera-Pesantes, Miguel A. Méndez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


While Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreaks are a growing concern for global health, a deep understanding about the virus is lacking. Here we report a contribution to the basic science on the virus— a detailed computational analysis of the non structural protein NS2b. This protein acts as a cofactor for the NS3 protease (NS3Pro) domain that is important on the viral life cycle, and is an interesting target for drug development. We found that ZIKV NS2b cofactor is highly similar to other virus within the Flavivirus genus, especially to West Nile Virus, suggesting that it is completely necessary for the protease complex activity. Furthermore, the ZIKV NS2b has an important role to the function and stability of the ZIKV NS3 protease domain even when presents a low conservation score. In addition, ZIKV NS2b is mostly rigid, which could imply a non dynamic nature in substrate recognition. Finally, by performing a computational alanine scanning mutagenesis, we found that residues Gly 52 and Asp 83 in the NS2b could be important in substrate recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-667
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - 28 Oct 2017


  • Computational alanine scanning mutagenesis
  • Flavivirus
  • NS2b
  • NS3
  • Protein disorder
  • Transmembrane domains
  • Zika virus


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