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Adv Virus Res. 2019;105:73-91. doi: 10.1016/bs.aivir.2019.07.007.

CryoEM reconstruction approaches to resolve asymmetric features.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States; Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, The Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, PA, United States.
2
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States; Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States.
3
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States; Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, The Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, PA, United States; Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States. Electronic address: shafenstein@psu.edu.

Abstract

Although icosahedral viruses have highly symmetrical capsid features, asymmetric structural elements are also present since the genome and minor structural proteins are usually incorporated without adhering to icosahedral symmetry. Besides this inherent asymmetry, interactions with the host during the virus life cycle are also asymmetric. However, until recently it was impossible to resolve high resolution asymmetric features during single-particle cryoEM image processing. This review summarizes the current approaches that can be used to visualize asymmetric structural features. We have included examples of advanced structural strategies developed to reveal unique features and asymmetry in icosahedral viruses.

KEYWORDS:

Asymmetry; Classification; Expansion; Focused; Refinement; Relaxation; Subparticle; Symmetry

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