Molecular Aspects of the Dengue Virus Infection Process: A Review
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Background: At the present time, dengue is one of the most important arboviruses affecting man, becoming a serious global public health problem, especially in subtropical and tropical countries, where environmental conditions favor the development and proliferation of the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Dengue is caused by a type of flavivirus, which is an enveloped virus of spherical geometry. Nowadays, it is one of the diseases with the highest incidence in Brazil, reaching the population of all states, regardless of social class. Several papers address the molecular aspects of infection of human cell by the viruses, which are reviewed in this work. Conclusion: Analyzing the three-dimensional structures of the fusion peptide of dengue virus protein E, we observed that the fusion peptide presents a region rich in hydrophobic residues and a collar of charged, polar residues. Probably, this hydrophilic collar plays an important role in the fusion process between the dengue virus and the cell membrane. In order for this disease to cease being a serious global public health problem, we must deepen our knowledge about the fusion process between the dengue virus and the cell membrane through further experimental and, especially, computational studies to find ways to inhibit the mechanism of virus infection.