Virus Imaging

Select by virus name
About Images
Art Gallery
Covers Gallery
ICTV 8th Color Plates
PS10 Screen Saver   

Virus Structure Tutorials

Triangulation Number
Topography Maps 3D

Virology Links

In the News

- News -
- Video -
- Blogs -
 * Virology Highlights
- Flu & H1N1 - (CDC|WHO)

Journal Contents

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology

Structure & Assembly (J.Virol)
Journal of Virology
J. General Virology
Virology Journal
Virus Genes

Educational Resouces

Video Lectures  NEW 
TextBook  NEW 
Educational Links
Educational Kids


Archived Web Papers

Jean-Yves Sgro
Inst. for Mol.Virology
731B Bock Labs
1525 Linden Drive Madison, WI 53706

Current Papers in Structure and Assembly (Journal of Virology)

Journal of Virology Structure and Assembly

  • Structure-Based Classification Defines the Discrete Conformational Classes Adopted by the Arenaviral GP1 [Structure and Assembly]

  • The emergence of Old and New World arenaviruses from rodent reservoirs persistently threatens human health. The GP1 subunit of the envelope-displayed arenaviral glycoprotein spike complex (GPC) mediates host cell recognition and is an important determinant of cross-species transmission. Previous structural analyses of Old World arenaviral GP1 glycoproteins, alone and in complex with a cognate GP2 subunit, have revealed that GP1 adopts two distinct conformational states distinguished by differences in the orientations of helical regions of the molecule. Here, through comparative study of the GP1 glycoprotein architectures of Old World Loei River virus and New World Whitewater Arroyo virus, we show that these rearrangements are restricted to Old World arenaviruses and are not induced solely by the pH change that is associated with virus endosomal trafficking. Our structure-based phylogenetic analysis of arenaviral GP1s provides a blueprint for understanding the discrete structural classes adopted by these therapeutically important targets.

    IMPORTANCE The genetically and geographically diverse group of viruses within the family Arenaviridae includes a number of zoonotic pathogens capable of causing fatal hemorrhagic fever. The multisubunit GPC glycoprotein spike complex displayed on the arenavirus envelope is a key determinant of species tropism and a primary target of the host humoral immune response. Here, we show that the receptor-binding GP1 subcomponent of the GPC spike from Old World but not New World arenaviruses adopts a distinct, pH-independent conformation in the absence of the cognate GP2. Our analysis provides a structure-based approach to understanding the discrete conformational classes sampled by these therapeutically important targets, informing strategies to develop arenaviral glycoprotein immunogens that resemble GPC as presented on the mature virion surface.

  • Defining HIV-1 Envelope N-Glycan Microdomains through Site-Specific Heterogeneity Profiles [Structure and Assembly]

  • The HIV-1 envelope (Env) glycans shield the surface of Env from the immune system and form integral interactions important for a functional Env. To understand how individual N-glycosylation sites (NGS) coordinate to form a dynamic shield and evade the immune system through mutations, we tracked 20 NGS in Env from HIV-transmitted/founder (T/F) and immune escape variants and their mutants involving the N262 glycan. NGS were profiled in a site-specific manner using a high-resolution mass spectrometry (MS)-based workflow. Using this site-specific quantitative heterogeneity profiling, we empirically characterized the interdependent NGS of a microdomain in the high-mannose patch (HMP). The changes (shifts) in NGS heterogeneity between the T/F and immune escape variants defined a range of NGS that we further probed for exclusive combinations of sequons in the HMP microdomain using the Los Alamos National Laboratory HIV sequence database. The resultant sequon combinations, including the highly conserved NGS N262, N448, and N301, created an immune escape map of the conserved and variable sequons in the HMP microdomain. This report provides details on how some clustered NGS form microdomains that can be identified and tracked across Env variants. These microdomains have a limited number of N-glycan-sequon combinations that may allow the anticipation of immune escape variants.

    IMPORTANCE The Env protein of HIV is highly glycosylated, and the sites of glycosylation can change as the virus mutates during immune evasion. Due to these changes, the glycan location and heterogeneity of surrounding N-glycosylation sites can be altered, resulting in exposure of different glycan or proteoglycan surfaces while still producing a viable HIV variant. These changes present a need for vaccine developers to identify Env variants with epitopes most likely to induce durable protective responses. Here we describe a means of anticipating HIV-1 immune evasion by dividing Env into N-glycan microdomains that have a limited number of N-glycan sequon combinations.

  • High-Resolution Structural Characterization of a New Adeno-associated Virus Serotype 5 Antibody Epitope toward Engineering Antibody-Resistant Recombinant Gene Delivery Vectors [Structure and Assembly]

  • Adeno-associated virus serotype 5 (AAV5) is being developed as a gene delivery vector for several diseases, including hemophilia and Huntingtonrrsquo;s disease, and has a demonstrated efficient transduction in liver, lung, skeletal muscle, and the central nervous system. One limitation of AAV gene delivery is preexisting neutralizing antibodies, which present a significant challenge for vector effectiveness in therapeutic applications. Here, we report the cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and image-reconstructed structure of AAV5 in complex with a newly generated monoclonal antibody, HL2476, at 3.1-AAring; resolution. Unlike other available anti-AAV5 capsid antibodies, ADK5a and ADK5b, with epitopes surrounding the 5-fold channel of the capsid, HL2476 binds to the 3-fold protrusions. To elucidate the capsid-antibody interactions, the heavy and light chains were sequenced and their coordinates, along with the AAV5 viral protein, assigned to the density map. The high resolution of the complex enabled the identification of interacting residues at the 3-fold protrusions of the capsid, including R483, which forms two hydrogen bonds with the light chain of HL2476. A panel of AAV5 variants was generated and analyzed by native dot immunoblot and transduction assays. This identified variants with antibody escape phenotypes that maintain infectivity.

    IMPORTANCE Biologics based on recombinant AAVs (rAAVs) are increasingly becoming attractive human gene delivery vehicles, especially after the approval of Glybera in Europe and Luxturna in the United States. However, preexisting neutralizing antibodies against the AAV capsids in a large percentage of the human population limit wide-spread utilization of these vectors. To circumvent this problem, stealth vectors must be generated that are undetectable by these antibodies. This study details the high-resolution characterization of a new antigenic region on AAV5, a vector being developed for numerous delivery applications. The structure of AAV5 complexed with HL2476, a novel antibody, was determined by cryo-EM to 3.1-AAring; resolution. The resolution of the density map enabled the identification of interacting residues between capsid and antibody and the determinants of neutralization. Thus, the information obtained from this study can facilitate the generation of host immune escape vectors.