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Structure. 2018 Jun 5;26(6):839-847.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.str.2018.03.019. Epub 2018 Apr 26.

The Structure of an Infectious Human Polyomavirus and Its Interactions with Cellular Receptors.

Author information

1
Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, School of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.
2
Biognos AB, P.O. Box 8963, Gothenburg 40274, Sweden.
3
Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, School of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK. Electronic address: a.macdonald@leeds.ac.uk.
4
Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, School of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK. Electronic address: n.a.ranson@leeds.ac.uk.

Abstract

BK polyomavirus (BKV) causes polyomavirus-associated nephropathy and hemorrhagic cystitis in immunosuppressed patients. These are diseases for which we currently have limited treatment options, but potential therapies could include pre-transplant vaccination with a multivalent BKV vaccine or therapeutics which inhibit capsid assembly or block attachment and entry into target cells. A useful tool in such efforts would be a high-resolution structure of the infectious BKV virion and how this interacts with its full repertoire of cellular receptors. We present the 3.4-Å cryoelectron microscopy structure of native, infectious BKV in complex with the receptor fragment of GT1b ganglioside. We also present structural evidence that BKV can utilize glycosaminoglycans as attachment receptors. This work highlights features that underpin capsid stability and provides a platform for rational design and development of urgently needed pharmacological interventions for BKV-associated diseases.

KEYWORDS:

cryo-electron microscopy; glycobiology; glycovirology; human pathogens; molecular dynamics; polyomavirus; polyomavirus-associated nephropathy; structural virology; virology; virus-host interactions

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