The envelope protein E of tick-borne encephalitis virus and other flaviviruses: structure, functions and evolutionary relationships
A structural model of the TBE virus E protein contains information on the arrangement of the polypeptide chain into distinct protein domains corresponding to antigenic domains defined by MAbs. The model is consistent with data obtained from other flaviviruses as well and it is reasonable to assume a common structural organization of all flavivirus E proteins. Indirect evidence exists that certain distinct sequence elements may be involved in membrane fusion and receptor binding. An evolutionary tree based on amino acid sequence homology of the E protein corresponds nicely to the established subdivision of flaviviruses into serocomplexes. Under natural ecological conditions the flavivirus E protein exhibits a low degree of variability, different isolates of the same virus generally sharing at least 98% of their amino acids.
KeywordsWest Nile Virus Encephalitis Virus Japanese Encephalitis Amino Acid Sequence Homology Japanese Encephalitis Virus
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