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Virology. 2009 Apr 25;387(1):11-5. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2009.02.038. Epub 2009 Mar 21.

Single-particle cryo-electron microscopy of Rift Valley fever virus.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555-0647, USA.


Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV; Bunyaviridae; Phlebovirus) is an emerging human and veterinary pathogen causing acute hepatitis in ruminants and has the potential to cause hemorrhagic fever in humans. We report a three-dimensional reconstruction of RVFV vaccine strain MP-12 (RVFV MP-12) by cryo-electron microcopy using icosahedral symmetry of individual virions. Although the genomic core of RVFV MP-12 is apparently poorly ordered, the glycoproteins on the virus surface are highly symmetric and arranged on a T=12 icosahedral lattice. Our RVFV MP-12 structure allowed clear identification of inter-capsomer contacts and definition of possible glycoprotein arrangements within capsomers. This structure provides a detailed model for phleboviruses, opens new avenues for high-resolution structural studies of the bunyavirus family, and aids the design of antiviral diagnostics and effective subunit vaccines.

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