Analysis of the Electrostatic Characteristics of the Zika Virus Capsid Using Computational Methods

Cassandra Guadalupe Del Rio De Avila, University of Texas at El Paso


Zika virus (ZIKV) is a flavivirus that is usually transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. This virus can cause a variety of neurological disorders, the most common being Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults. Moreover, it is of great concern in pregnant women, since can cause deformities in the brain and other organs of newborns. Studying the structural characteristics of the virus during its mature and infectious phase can provide crucial information on the mechanisms by which it enters and replicates within host cells, as well as its evolution, transmission, and interaction with other living organisms. The symmetric pattern present in the virus capsid allowed the identification of four binding modes in the Zika virus capsid, each consisting of two heterotetramers formed from two copies of the E protein and two M proteins. In addition, several computational methods were used to calculate the electrostatic properties and understand the interactions between the heterotetramers that make up the binding modes present in the Zika virus capsid. That is why the study of the structural characterization and conformational changes of the envelope protein (E) is crucial to understand the binding and fusion of the virus with the host cell membrane. The findings of this study may aid in future drug design against the Zika virus by providing valuable information on the structural properties and interactions between E proteins during different stages of infection.

Subject Area

Physics|Biophysics|Computational physics

Recommended Citation

Del Rio De Avila, Cassandra Guadalupe, "Analysis of the Electrostatic Characteristics of the Zika Virus Capsid Using Computational Methods" (2023). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI30521698.