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Methods Mol Med. 2000;34:9-31. doi: 10.1385/1-59259-078-0:9.

Electron cryomicroscopy and computer image processing techniques : use in structure-function studies of rotavirus.

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  • 1Verna and Marrs Department of Biochemistry and W. M. Keck Center for Computational Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.


Rotavirus (RV), a double-stranded (ds)RNA virus in the family Reoviridae, is a complex, relatively large (diameter, including spikes = 1000 Å), nonenveloped icosahedral virus. Once RV was recognized as a major human pathogen, it was extensively studied using modern molecular genetic and biological techniques, as discussed elsewhere in this book. These studies provided basic information about gene-coding assignments, protein processing, genome expression and replication, viral morphogenesis, and pathogenesis (1). In addition, molecular epidemiological studies, coupled with the characterization of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and sequencing of the genes that encode the neutralizing antigens, provided an understanding at the molecular level of the antigenic and genetic variability of the RVs.

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