Role of Structural Disorder in the Multi-functionality of Flavivirus Proteins

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Intrinsically Disordered Proteins, Protein Function, Protein Multifunctionality, Flaviviruses, Viral Protein

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Introduction: The life cycle of a virus involves interacting with the host cell, entry, hijacking host machinery for viral replication, evading the host’s immune system, and releasing mature virions. However, viruses, being small in size, can only harbor a genome large enough to code for the minimal number of proteins required for the replication and maturation of the virions. As a result, many viral proteins are multifunctional machines that do not directly obey the classic structure-function paradigm. Often, such multifunctionality is rooted in intrinsic disorder that allows viral proteins to interact with various cellular factors and remain functional in the hostile environment of different cellular compartments.

Areas covered: This report covers the classification of flaviviruses, their proteome organization, and the prevalence of intrinsic disorder in the proteomes of different flaviviruses. Further, we have summarized the speculations made about the apparent roles of intrinsic disorder in the observed multifunctionality of flaviviral proteins.

Expert opinion: Small sizes of viral genomes impose multifunctionality on their proteins, which is dependent on the excessive usage of intrinsic disorder. In fact, intrinsic disorder serves as a universal functional tool, weapon, and armor of viruses and clearly plays an important role in their functionality and evolution.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Expert Review of Proteomics, v. 19, issue 3, p. 183-196