Several recently developed high-throughput techniques have changed the field of molecular virology. For example, proteomics studies reveal complete interactomes of a viral protein, genome-wide CRISPR knockout and activation screens probe the importance of every single human gene in aiding or fighting a virus, and ChIP-seq experiments reveal genome-wide epigenetic changes in response to infection. Deep mutational scanning is a relatively novel form of protein science which allows the in-depth functional analysis of every nucleotide within a viral gene or genome, revealing regions of importance, flexibility, and mutational potential. In this review, we discuss the application of this technique to RNA viruses including members of the Flaviviridae family, Influenza A Virus and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. We also briefly discuss the reverse genetics systems which allow for analysis of viral replication cycles, next-generation sequencing technologies and the bioinformatics tools that facilitate this research.
- Deep mutational scanning