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Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2012 Jan;68(Pt 1):57-61. doi: 10.1107/S0907444911049705. Epub 2011 Dec 9.

A new pentameric structure of rotavirus NSP4 revealed by molecular replacement.

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Molecular Biophysics Unit, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.


The region spanning residues 95-146 of the rotavirus nonstructural protein NSP4 from the asymptomatic human strain ST3 has been purified and crystallized and diffraction data have been collected to a resolution of 2.6 Å. Several attempts to solve the structure by the molecular-replacement method using the available tetrameric structures of this domain were unsuccessful despite a sequence identity of 73% to the already known structures. A more systematic approach with a dimer as the search model led to an unexpected pentameric structure using the program Phaser. The various steps involved in arriving at this molecular-replacement solution, which unravelled a case of subtle variation between different oligomeric states unknown at the time of solving the structure, are presented in this paper.

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