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Deep mutational scanning comprehensively maps how Zika envelope protein mutations affect viral growth and antibody escape

By Marion Sourisseau, Daniel J.P. Lawrence, Megan C. Schwarz, Carina H Storrs, Ethan C. Veit, Jesse Bloom, Matthew J. Evans

Posted 05 Aug 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/725556 (published DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01291-19)

Functional constraints on viral proteins are often assessed by examining sequence conservation among natural strains, but this approach is relatively ineffective for Zika virus because all known sequences are highly similar. Here we take an alternative approach to map functional constraints on Zika virus's envelope (E) protein by using deep mutational scanning to measure how all amino-acid mutations to the protein affect viral growth in cell culture. The resulting sequence-function map is consistent with existing knowledge about E protein structure and function, but also provides insight into mutation-level constraints in many regions of the protein that have not been well characterized in prior functional work. In addition, we extend our approach to completely map how mutations affect viral neutralization by two monoclonal antibodies, thereby precisely defining their functional epitopes. Overall, our study provides a valuable resource for understanding the effects of mutations to this important viral protein, and also offers a roadmap for future work to map functional and antigenic selection to Zika virus at high resolution.

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