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Nat Struct Biol. 2001 Jan;8(1):77-83.

The structure of pariacoto virus reveals a dodecahedral cage of duplex RNA.

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Department of Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


The 3.0 A resolution crystal structure of Pariacoto virus (PaV) reveals extensive interactions between portions of the viral RNA genome and the icosahedral capsid. Under the protein shell of the T = 3 quasi equivalent capsid lies a dodecahedral cage composed of RNA duplex that accounts for approximately 35% of the single-stranded RNA genome. The highly basic N-terminal regions (residues 7-54) of the subunits, forming pentamers (A subunits) are clearly visible in the density map and make numerous interactions with the RNA cage. The C-terminal segments (residues 394-401) of the A subunits lie in channels near the quasi three-fold axes. Electron cryo-microscopy and image reconstruction of PaV particles clearly show the dodecahedral RNA cage.

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