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In vitro assembly of virus-like particles of a gammaretrovirus, the murine leukemia virus XMRV.

ABSTRACT: Immature retroviral particles are assembled by self-association of the structural polyprotein precursor Gag. During maturation the Gag polyprotein is proteolytically cleaved, yielding mature structural proteins, matrix (MA), capsid (CA), and nucleocapsid (NC), that reassemble into a mature viral particle. Proteolytic cleavage causes the N terminus of CA to fold back to form a ?-hairpin, anchored by an internal salt bridge between the N-terminal proline and the inner aspartate. Using an in vitro assembly system of capsid-nucleocapsid protein (CANC), we studied the formation of virus-like particles (VLP) of a gammaretrovirus, the xenotropic murine leukemia virus (MLV)-related virus (XMRV). We show here that, unlike other retroviruses, XMRV CA and CANC do not assemble tubular particles characteristic of mature assembly. The prevention of ?-hairpin formation by the deletion of either the N-terminal proline or 10 initial amino acids enabled the assembly of ?ProCANC or ?10CANC into immature-like spherical particles. Detailed three-dimensional (3D) structural analysis of these particles revealed that below a disordered N-terminal CA layer, the C terminus of CA assembles a typical immature lattice, which is linked by rod-like densities with the RNP.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3264384 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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