Partial maturation: an immune-evasion strategy of dengue virus?

Trends in microbiology

PubMedID: 21388812

Rodenhuis-Zybert IA, Wilschut J, Smit JM. Partial maturation: an immune-evasion strategy of dengue virus?. Trends Microbiol. 2011;19(5):248-54.
Cleavage of the precursor membrane (prM) protein is required for the activation of flavivirus infectivity. However, many studies have shown that, for dengue virus in particular, prM cleavage and maturation is inefficient. Heterogeneity of wild-type dengue virus preparations with regard to the presence of uncleaved prM in the virion is mirrored in the substantial levels of prM-specific antibodies that are produced following dengue infection. What might be the evolutionary advantage for the virus to produce so many prM-containing particles? In this review we summarize the latest achievements of dengue research that contribute to a better understanding of the role of prM-containing virions in the pathogenesis of dengue.