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Structure. 2003 Jun;11(6):651-63.

Cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus structure at 8 A by electron cryomicroscopy: structural basis of capsid stability and mRNA processing regulation.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The single-shelled cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus (CPV) is a unique member of the Reoviridae. Despite lacking protective outer shells, it exhibits striking capsid stability and is capable of endogenous RNA transcription and processing. The 8 A three-dimensional structure of CPV by electron cryomicroscopy reveals secondary structure elements present in the capsid proteins CSP, LPP, and TP, which have alpha+beta folds. The extensive nonequivalent interactions between CSP and LPP, the unique CSP protrusion domain, and the perfect inter-CSP surface complementarities may account for the enhanced capsid stability. The slanted disposition of TP functional domains and the stacking of channel constrictions suggest an iris diaphragm-like mechanism for opening/closing capsid pores and turret channels in regulating the highly coordinated steps of mRNA transcription, processing, and release.

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