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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Jan 28;94(3):038101. Epub 2005 Jan 25.

Icosahedral packing of RNA viral genomes.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California Los Angeles, Box 951547, Los Angeles, California 90095-1547, USA.


Many spherelike RNA viruses package a portion of their genome in a manner that mirrors the icosahedral symmetry of the protein container, or capsid. Graph-theoretical constraints forbid exact realization of icosahedral symmetry. This paper explores the consequences of graph-theoretical constraints on quasi-icosahedral genome structures. A key result is the prediction that the genome organization is a Hamiltonian path or cycle and that the associated assembly scenario of such single-stranded spherelike RNA viruses resembles that of cylindrical RNA viruses, such as tobacco mosaic viruses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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