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Three-dimensional Structure of HIV-1 Virus-like Particles by Electron Cryotomography

Benjamin, Jordan and Ganser-Pornillos, Barbie K. and Tivol, William F. and Sundquist, Wesley I. and Jensen, Grant J. (2005) Three-dimensional Structure of HIV-1 Virus-like Particles by Electron Cryotomography. Journal of Molecular Biology, 346 (2). pp. 577-588. ISSN 0022-2836.

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While the structures of nearly every HIV-1 protein are known in atomic detail from X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy, many questions remain about how the individual proteins are arranged in the mature infectious viral particle. Here, we report the three-dimensional structures of individual HIV-1 virus-like particles (VLPs) as obtained by electron cryotomography. These reconstructions revealed that while the structures and positions of the conical cores within each VLP were unique, they exhibited several surprisingly consistent features, including similarities in the size and shape of the wide end of the capsid (the “base”), uniform positioning of the base and other regions of the capsid 11 nm away from the envelope/MA layer, a cone angle that typically varied from 24° to 18° around the long axis of the cone, and an internal density (presumably part of the NC/RNA complex) cupped within the base. Multiple and nested capsids were observed. These results support the fullerene cone model for the viral capsid, indicate that viral maturation involves a free re-organization of the capsid shell rather than a continuous condensation, imply that capsid assembly is both concentration-driven and template-driven, suggest that specific interactions exist between the capsid and the adjacent envelope/MA and NC/RNA layers, and show that a particular capsid shape is favored strongly in-vivo.

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Jensen, Grant J.0000-0003-1556-4864
Additional Information:Copyright © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. Received 24 September 2004; revised 18 November 2004; accepted 23 November 2004. Available online 8 December 2004. Edited by M. F. Summers. This work was supported by NIH grant PO1 GM66521 to W.I.S. and G.J.J., as well as gifts from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Agouron Institute, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to the California Institute of Technology. We are grateful to Uta von Schwedler and Kirsten Stray for assistance with VLP preparations, and we thank Simon Wain–Hobsen for suggesting that we estimate the concentrations of enzymes in the viral core.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIHPO1 GM66521
Ralph M. Parsons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:HIV; virus structure; tomography; electron cryomicroscopy; capsid
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110803-095002336
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Official Citation:Jordan Benjamin, Barbie K. Ganser-Pornillos, William F. Tivol, Wesley I. Sundquist, Grant J. Jensen, Three-dimensional Structure of HIV-1 Virus-like Particles by Electron Cryotomography, Journal of Molecular Biology, Volume 346, Issue 2, 18 February 2005, Pages 577-588, ISSN 0022-2836, DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2004.11.064. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:24647
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:03 Aug 2011 17:38
Last Modified:23 Aug 2016 10:03

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