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Nat Commun. 2016 Aug 26;7:12524. doi: 10.1038/ncomms12524.

Asymmetric cryo-EM reconstruction of phage MS2 reveals genome structure in situ.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Leiden University Medical Center, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.
2
Netherlands Centre for Electron Nanoscopy, Institute of Biology Leiden, Leiden University, Einsteinweg 55, 2333 CC Leiden, The Netherlands.
3
Biocomputing Unit, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CNB-CSIC), Darwin 3, Campus Universidad Autónoma, Cantoblanco, Madrid 28049, Spain.
4
Biomedical Research and Study Centre, Ratsupites 1, LV-1067 Riga, Latvia.

Abstract

In single-stranded ribonucleic acid (RNA) viruses, virus capsid assembly and genome packaging are intertwined processes. Using cryo-electron microscopy and single particle analysis we determined the asymmetric virion structure of bacteriophage MS2, which includes 178 copies of the coat protein, a single copy of the A-protein and the RNA genome. This reveals that in situ, the viral RNA genome can adopt a defined conformation. The RNA forms a branched network of stem-loops that almost all allocate near the capsid inner surface, while predominantly binding to coat protein dimers that are located in one-half of the capsid. This suggests that genomic RNA is highly involved in genome packaging and virion assembly.

PMID:
27561669
PMCID:
PMC5007439
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms12524
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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