Emerging Roles of Heparanase in Viral Pathogenesis
Flaviviruses, such as dengue and zika viruses, are etiologic agents transmitted to humans mainly by arthropods and are of great epidemiological interest. The flavivirus capsid protein is a structural element required for the viral nucleocapsid assembly that presents the classical function of sheltering the viral genome. After decades of research, many reports have shown its different functionalities and influence over cell normal functioning. The subcellular distribution of this protein, which involves accumulation around lipid droplets and nuclear localization, also corroborates with its multi-functional characteristic. As flavivirus diseases are still in need of global control and in view of the possible key functionalities that the capsid protein promotes over flavivirus biology, novel considerations arise towards anti-flavivirus drug research. This review covers the main aspects concerning structural and functional features of the flavivirus C protein, ultimately, highlighting prospects in drug discovery based on this viral target.