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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1989 Jun 12;323(1217):467-78.

The antigenic structure of poliovirus.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Research Institute of Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California 92037.


We have solved the structure of the Mahoney strain of type 1 and the Sabin (attenuated vaccine) strain of type 3 poliovirus by X-ray crystallographic methods. By providing a three-dimensional framework for the interpretation of a wealth of experimental data, the structures have yielded insight into the architecture and assembly of the virus particle, have provided information regarding the entry of virus into susceptible cells, and defined the sites on the virus particle that are recognized by neutralizing monoclonal antibodies. Thus locating mutations in variants selected for resistance to neutralizing monoclonal antibodies has defined three antigenic sites of the surface of the virion, and provided clues as to the mechanisms by which viruses escape neutralization. Finally, comparison of the structures of the two strains, together with analysis of sequences of many poliovirus strains, have begun to define the structural changes associated with serotypic differences between polioviruses.

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