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Biophys J. 2006 Jul 1;91(1):42-54. Epub 2006 Mar 24.

Dynamic pathways for viral capsid assembly.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA.

Abstract

We develop a class of models with which we simulate the assembly of particles into T1 capsidlike objects using Newtonian dynamics. By simulating assembly for many different values of system parameters, we vary the forces that drive assembly. For some ranges of parameters, assembly is facile; for others, assembly is dynamically frustrated by kinetic traps corresponding to malformed or incompletely formed capsids. Our simulations sample many independent trajectories at various capsomer concentrations, allowing for statistically meaningful conclusions. Depending on subunit (i.e., capsomer) geometries, successful assembly proceeds by several mechanisms involving binding of intermediates of various sizes. We discuss the relationship between these mechanisms and experimental evaluations of capsid assembly processes.

PMID:
16565055
PMCID:
PMC1479078
DOI:
10.1529/biophysj.105.076851
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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