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J Virol. 1995 Oct;69(10):6567-71.

Modest truncation of the major capsid protein abrogates B19 parvovirus capsid formation.

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  • 1Hematology Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


In vitro studies have suggested an important role for the minor capsid protein (VP1) unique region and the junction between VP1 and the major capsid protein (VP2) in the neutralizing immune response to B19 parvovirus. We investigated the role of the NH2-terminal region of the major structural protein in capsid structure by expressing progressively more truncated versions of the VP2 gene followed by analysis using immunoblotting and electron microscopy of density gradient-purified particles. Deletion of the first 25 amino acids (aa) of VP2 did not affect capsid assembly. Altered VP2 with truncations to aa 26 to 30, including a single amino acid deletion at position 25, failed to self-assemble but did participate with normal VP2 in the capsid structure. The altered region corresponds to the beginning of the beta A antiparallel strand. Truncations beyond aa 30 were incompatible with either self-assembly or coassembly, probably because of deletion of the beta B strand, which helps to form the core structure of the virus.

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