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Conformational plasticity of a native retroviral capsid revealed by x-ray crystallography

Abstract : Retroviruses depend on self-assembly of their capsid proteins (core particle) to yield infectious mature virions. Despite the essential role of the retroviral core, its high polymorphism has hindered high-resolution structural analyses. Here, we report the x-ray structure of the native capsid (CA) protein from bovine leukemia virus. CA is organized as hexamers that deviate substantially from sixfold symmetry, yet adjust to make two-dimensional pseudohexagonal arrays that mimic mature retroviral cores. Intra- and interhexameric quasi-equivalent contacts are uncovered, with flexible trimeric lateral contacts among hexamers, yet preserving very similar dimeric interfaces making the lattice. The conformation of each capsid subunit in the hexamer is therefore dictated by long-range interactions, revealing how the hexamers can also assemble into closed core particles, a relevant feature of retrovirus biology.
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Submitted on : Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 1:21:43 AM
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G. Obal, F. Trajtenberg, F. Carrión, L. Tomé, N. Larrieux, et al.. Conformational plasticity of a native retroviral capsid revealed by x-ray crystallography. Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2015, 349 (6243), pp.95-98. ⟨10.1126/science.aaa5182⟩. ⟨pasteur-02554123⟩

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