The proteins coded by the five major capsid genes of herpes simplex virus 1, VP5 (gene UL19), VP19c (UL38), VP23 (UL18), pre-VP22a (UL26.5), and pre-VP21 (UL26), assemble into fragile roundish “procapsids”, which mature into robust polyhedral capsids in a transition similar to that undergone by bacteriophage proheads. Here we describe the HSV-1 procapsid structure to a resolution of ∼2.7 nm from three-dimensional reconstructions of cryo-electron micrographs. Comparison with the mature capsid provides insight into the large-scale conformational changes that take place upon maturation. In the procapsid, the elongated protomers (VP5 subunits) make little contact with each other except around the bases of the hexons and pentons, whereas they are tightly clustered into capsomers in the mature state; the axial channels, which are constricted or blocked in the mature capsid, are fully open; and unlike the well observed 6-fold symmetry of mature hexons, procapsid hexons are distorted into oval and triangular shapes. These deformations reveal a VP5 domain in the inner part of the protrusion wall which participates in inter-protomer bonding in the procapsid and is close to the site where the channel closes upon maturation. Remarkably, there are no direct contacts between neighboring capsomers; instead, interactions between them are mediated by the “triplexes” at the sites of local 3-fold symmetry. This observation discloses the mechanism whereby the triplex proteins, VP19c and VP23, play their essential roles in capsid morphogenesis. In the mature capsid, density extends continuously between neighboring capsomers in the inner “floor” layer. In contrast, there are large gaps in the corresponding region of the procapsid, implying that formation of the floor involves extensive remodeling. Inside the procapsid shell is the hollow spherical scaffold, whose radial density profile indicates that the major scaffold protein, pre-VP22a, is a long molecule (>24 nm) composed of three domains. Since no evidence of icosahedral symmetry is detected in the scaffold, we infer that (unless higher resolution is required) the scaffold may not be an icosahedral shell but may instead be a protein micelle with a preferred radius of curvature.
Journal of Molecular Biology – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 1996
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera