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

  • Neglected but Important Role of Apolipoprotein E Exchange in Hepatitis C Virus Infection [Structure and Assembly]

  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of chronic liver disease, infecting approximately 170 million people worldwide. HCV assembly is tightly associated with the lipoprotein pathway. Exchangeable apolipoprotein E (apoE) is incorporated on infectious HCV virions and is important for infectious HCV virion morphogenesis and entry. Moreover, the virion apoE level is positively correlated with its ability to escape E2 antibody neutralization. However, the role of apoE exchange in the HCV life cycle is unclear. In this study, the relationship between apoE expression and cell permissiveness to HCV infection was assessed by infecting apoE knockdown and derived apoE rescue cell lines with HCV. Exchange of apoE between lipoproteins and HCV lipoviral particles (LVPs) was evaluated by immunoprecipitation, infectivity testing, and viral genome quantification. Cell and heparin column binding assays were applied to determine the attachment efficiency of LVPs with different levels of incorporated apoE. The results showed that cell permissiveness for HCV infection was determined by exogenous apoE-associated lipoproteins. Furthermore, apoE exchange did occur between HCV LVPs and lipoproteins, which was important to maintain a high apoE level on LVPs. Lipid-free apoE was capable of enhancing HCV infectivity for apoE knockdown cells but not apoE rescue cells. A higher apoE level on LVPs conferred more efficient LVP attachment to both the cell surface and heparin beads. This study revealed that exogenous apoE-incorporating lipoproteins from uninfected hepatocytes safeguarded the apoE level of LVPs for more efficient attachment during HCV infection.

    IMPORTANCE In this study, a neglected but important role of apoE exchange in HCV LVP infectivity after virus assembly and release was identified. The data indicated that apoE expression level in uninfected cells is important for high permissiveness to HCV infection. Secreted apoE-associated lipoprotein specifically enhances infection of HCV LVPs. apoE exchange between HCV LVP and lipoproteins is important to maintain an adequate apoE level on LVPs for their efficient attachment to cell surface. These data defined for the first time an extracellular role of exchangeable apoE in HCV infection and suggested that exchangeable apolipoproteins reach a natural equilibrium between HCV LVPs and lipoprotein particles, which provides a new perspective to the understanding of the heterogeneity of HCV LVPs in composition.

  • Near-Atomic Resolution Structure of a Highly Neutralizing Fab Bound to Canine Parvovirus [Structure and Assembly]

  • Canine parvovirus (CPV) is a highly contagious pathogen that causes severe disease in dogs and wildlife. Previously, a panel of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAb) raised against CPV was characterized. An antibody fragment (Fab) of MAb E was found to neutralize the virus at low molar ratios. Using recent advances in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), we determined the structure of CPV in complex with Fab E to 4.1 AAring; resolution, which allowed de novo building of the Fab structure. The footprint identified was significantly different from the footprint obtained previously from models fitted into lower-resolution maps. Using single-chain variable fragments, we tested antibody residues that control capsid binding. The near-atomic structure also revealed that Fab binding had caused capsid destabilization in regions containing key residues conferring receptor binding and tropism, which suggests a mechanism for efficient virus neutralization by antibody. Furthermore, a general technical approach to solving the structures of small molecules is demonstrated, as binding the Fab to the capsid allowed us to determine the 50-kDa Fab structure by cryo-EM.

    IMPORTANCE Using cryo-electron microscopy and new direct electron detector technology, we have solved the 4 AAring; resolution structure of a Fab molecule bound to a picornavirus capsid. The Fab induced conformational changes in regions of the virus capsid that control receptor binding. The antibody footprint is markedly different from the previous one identified by using a 12 AAring; structure. This work emphasizes the need for a high-resolution structure to guide mutational analysis and cautions against relying on older low-resolution structures even though they were interpreted with the best methodology available at the time.

  • Primary Structures of the Virion Proteins of Vaccinia Virus at Increased Resolution [Structure and Assembly]

  • Here we examine the protein covalent structure of the vaccinia virus virion. Within two virion preparations, ggt;88% of the theoretical vaccinia virus-encoded proteome was detected with high confidence, including the first detection of products from 27 open reading frames (ORFs) previously designated "predicted," "uncharacterized," "inferred," or "hypothetical" polypeptides containing as few as 39 amino acids (aa) and six proteins whose detection required nontryptic proteolysis. We also detected the expression of four short ORFs, each of which was located within an ORF ("ORF-within-ORF"), including one not previously recognized or known to be expressed. Using quantitative mass spectrometry (MS), between 58 and 74 proteins were determined to be packaged. A total of 63 host proteins were also identified as candidates for packaging. Evidence is provided that some portion of virion proteins are "nicked" via a combination of endoproteolysis and concerted exoproteolysis in a manner, and at sites, independent of virus origin or laboratory procedures. The size of the characterized virion phosphoproteome was doubled from 189 (J. Matson, W. Chou, T. Ngo, and P. D. Gershon, Virology 452-453:310nndash;323, 2014, doi: to 396 confident, unique phosphorylation sites, 268 of which were within the packaged proteome. This included the unambiguous identification of phosphorylation "hot spots" within virion proteins. Using isotopically enriched ATP, 23 sites of intravirion kinase phosphorylation were detected within nine virion proteins, all at sites already partially occupied within the virion preparations. The clear phosphorylation of proteins RAP94 and RP19 was consistent with the roles of these proteins in intravirion early gene transcription. In a blind search for protein modifications, cysteine glutathionylation and O-linked glycosylation featured prominently. We provide evidence for the phosphoglycosylation of vaccinia virus proteins.

    IMPORTANCE Poxviruses are among the most complex and irregular virions, about whose internal structure little is known. To better understand poxvirus virion structure, imaging should be supplemented with other tools. Here, we provide a deep study of the covalent structure of the vaccinia virus virion using the various tools of contemporary mass spectrometry.

  • Efficiency in Complexity: Composition and Dynamic Nature of Mimivirus Replication Factories [Structure and Assembly]

  • The recent discovery of multiple giant double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses blurred the consensual distinction between viruses and cells due to their size, as well as to their structural and genetic complexity. A dramatic feature revealed by these viruses as well as by many positive-strand RNA viruses is their ability to rapidly form elaborate intracellular organelles, termed "viral factories," where viral progeny are continuously generated. Here we report the first isolation of viral factories at progressive postinfection time points. The isolated factories were subjected to mass spectrometry-based proteomics, bioinformatics, and imaging analyses. These analyses revealed that numerous viral proteins are present in the factories but not in mature virions, thus implying that multiple and diverse proteins are required to promote the efficiency of viral factories as "production lines" of viral progeny. Moreover, our results highlight the dynamic and highly complex nature of viral factories, provide new and general insights into viral infection, and substantiate the intriguing notion that viral factories may represent the living state of viruses.

    IMPORTANCE Large dsDNA viruses such as vaccinia virus and the giant mimivirus, as well as many positive-strand RNA viruses, generate elaborate cytoplasmic organelles in which the multiple and diverse transactions required for viral replication and assembly occur. These organelles, which were termed "viral factories," are attracting much interest due to the increasing realization that the rapid and continuous production of viral progeny is a direct outcome of the elaborate structure and composition of the factories, which act as efficient production lines. To get new insights into the nature and function of viral factories, we devised a method that allows, for the first time, the isolation of these organelles. Analyses of the isolated factories generated at different times postinfection by mass spectrometry-based proteomics provide new perceptions of their role and reveal the highly dynamic nature of these organelles.