Conservation and Variability of Dengue Virus Proteins: Implications for Vaccine Design

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KHAN M. A., Miotto O., Nascimento E. J. M., Srinivasan K. N., Heiny A. T., Zhang G. L., ...More

PLOS NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES, vol.2, no.8, 2008 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Background: Genetic variation and rapid evolution are hallmarks of RNA viruses, the result of high mutation rates in RNA replication and selection of mutants that enhance viral adaptation, including the escape from host immune responses. Variability is uneven across the genome because mutations resulting in a deleterious effect on viral fitness are restricted. RNA viruses are thus marked by protein sites permissive to multiple mutations and sites critical to viral structure-function that are evolutionarily robust and highly conserved. Identification and characterization of the historical dynamics of the conserved sites have relevance to multiple applications, including potential targets for diagnosis, and prophylactic and therapeutic purposes.