Interactions between the dengue virus polymerase NS5 and stem-loop A

Paul J. Bujalowski, Wlodzimierz Bujalowski, Kyung H. Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The process of RNA replication by dengue virus is still not completely understood despite the significant progress made in the last few years. Stem-loop A (SLA), a part of the viral 5' untranslated region (UTR), is critical for the initiation of dengue virus replication, but quantitative analysis of the interactions between the dengue virus polymerase NS5 and SLA in solution has not been performed. Here, we examine how solution conditions affect the size and shape of SLA and the formation of the NS5-SLA complex. We show that dengue virus NS5 binds SLA with a 1:1 stoichiometry and that the association reaction is primarily entropy driven. We also observe that the NS5-SLA interaction is influenced by the magnesium concentration in a complex manner. Binding is optimal with 1 mM MgCl2 but decreases with both lower and higher magnesium concentrations. Additionally, data from a competition assay between SLA and single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) indicate that SLA competes with ssRNA for the same binding site on the NS5 polymerase. SLA70 and SLA80, which contain the first 70 and 80 nucleotides (nt), respectively, bind NS5 with similar binding affinities. Dengue virus NS5 also binds SLAs from different serotypes, indicating that NS5 recognizes the overall shape of SLA as well as specific nucleotides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00047-17
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Dengue virus
  • NS5
  • RNA polymerase
  • Stem-loop A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Interactions between the dengue virus polymerase NS5 and stem-loop A'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this