Molecular Recognition Features in Zika Virus Proteome

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Viruses have compact genomes that encode limited number of proteins in comparison to other biological entities. Interestingly, viral proteins have shown natural abundance of either completely disordered proteins that are recognized as intrinsically disorder proteins (IDPs) or partially disordered segments known as intrinsically disordered protein regions (IDPRs). IDPRs are involved in interactions with multiple binding partners to accomplish signaling, regulation, and control functions in cells. Tuning of IDPs and IDPRs are mediated through post-translational modification and alternative splicing. Often, the interactions of IDPRs with their binding protein partner(s) lead to transition from the state of disorder to ordered form. Such interaction-prone protein IDPRs are identified as molecular recognition features (MoRFs). Molecular recognition is an important initial step for the biomolecular interactions and their functional proceedings. Although previous studies have established occurrence of the IDPRs in Zika virus proteome, which provide the functional diversity and structural plasticity to viral proteins, the MoRF analysis has not been performed as of yet. Many computational methods have been developed for the identification of the MoRFs in protein sequences including ANCHOR, MoRFpred, DISOPRED3, and MoRFchibi_web server. In the current study, we have investigated the presence of MoRF regions in structural and non-structural proteins of Zika virus using an aforementioned set of computational techniques. Furthermore, we have experimentally validated the intrinsic disorderness of NS2B cofactor region of NS2B–NS3 protease. NS2B has one of the longest MoRF regions in Zika virus proteome. In future, this study may provide valuable information while investigating the virus host protein interaction networks.

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Journal of Molecular Biology, v. 430, issue 16, p. 2372-2388