West Nile Virus NS3 Protease

Infection by mosquito-borne West Nile Virus can cause severe neurological disease and can be epidemic. Two non-structural proteins, NS3 and NS2b, play an essential role in viral replication, and are therefore potential targets for treatment and prevention of West Nile Virus disease. NS3 consists of a trypsin-like serine protease with a catalytic triad (His51, Asp75, Ser135) and a putative helicase. Requiring NS2b as the cofactor, NS3 protease processes viral polyprotein precursor.