Assembly of complex viruses exemplified by a halophilic euryarchaeal virus.
ABSTRACT: Many of the largest known viruses belong to the PRD1-adeno structural lineage characterised by conserved pseudo-hexameric capsomers composed of three copies of a single major capsid protein (MCP). Here, by high-resolution cryo-EM analysis, we show that a class of archaeal viruses possess hetero-hexameric MCPs which mimic the PRD1-adeno lineage trimer. These hetero-hexamers are built from heterodimers and utilise a jigsaw-puzzle system of pegs and holes, and underlying minor capsid proteins, to assemble the capsid laterally from the 5-fold vertices. At these vertices proteins engage inwards with the internal membrane vesicle whilst 2-fold symmetric horn-like structures protrude outwards. The horns are assembled from repeated globular domains attached to a central spine, presumably facilitating multimeric attachment to the cell receptor. Such viruses may represent precursors of the main PRD1-adeno lineage, similarly engaging cell-receptors via 5-fold spikes and using minor proteins to define particle size.
Project description:The vertical double β-barrel major capsid protein (MCP) fold, fingerprint of the PRD1-adeno viral lineage, is widespread in many viruses infecting organisms across the three domains of life. The discovery of PRD1-like viruses with two MCPs challenged the known assembly principles. Here, we present the cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of the archaeal, halophilic, internal membrane-containing Haloarcula californiae icosahedral virus 1 (HCIV-1) and Haloarcula hispanica icosahedral virus 2 (HHIV-2) at 3.7 and 3.8 Å resolution, respectively. Our structures reveal proteins located beneath the morphologically distinct two- and three-tower capsomers and homopentameric membrane proteins at the vertices that orchestrate the positioning of pre-formed vertical single β-barrel MCP heterodimers. The cryo-EM based structures together with the proteomics data provide insights into the assembly mechanism of this type of viruses and into those with membrane-less double β-barrel MCPs.
Project description:It has proved difficult to classify viruses unless they are closely related since their rapid evolution hinders detection of remote evolutionary relationships in their genetic sequences. However, structure varies more slowly than sequence, allowing deeper evolutionary relationships to be detected. Bacteriophage P23-77 is an example of a newly identified viral lineage, with members inhabiting extreme environments. We have solved multiple crystal structures of the major capsid proteins VP16 and VP17 of bacteriophage P23-77. They fit the 14 Å resolution cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction of the entire virus exquisitely well, allowing us to propose a model for both the capsid architecture and viral assembly, quite different from previously published models. The structures of the capsid proteins and their mode of association to form the viral capsid suggest that the P23-77-like and adeno-PRD1 lineages of viruses share an extremely ancient common ancestor.
Project description:Studies on viral capsid architectures and coat protein folds have revealed the evolutionary lineages of viruses branching to all three domains of life. A widespread group of icosahedral tailless viruses, the PRD1-adenovirus lineage, was the first to be established. A double ?-barrel fold for a single major capsid protein is characteristic of these viruses. Similar viruses carrying genes coding for two major capsid proteins with a more complex structure, such as Thermus phage P23-77 and haloarchaeal virus SH1, have been isolated. Here, we studied the host range, life cycle, biochemical composition, and genomic sequence of a new isolate, Haloarcula hispanica icosahedral virus 2 (HHIV-2), which resembles SH1 despite being isolated from a different location. Comparative analysis of these viruses revealed that their overall architectures are very similar except that the genes for the receptor recognition vertex complexes are unrelated even though these viruses infect the same hosts.
Project description:The 3.3-Å cryo-EM structure of the 860-Å-diameter isometric mutant bacteriophage T4 capsid has been determined. WT T4 has a prolate capsid characterized by triangulation numbers (T numbers) Tend = 13 for end caps and Tmid = 20 for midsection. A mutation in the major capsid protein, gp23, produced T=13 icosahedral capsids. The capsid is stabilized by 660 copies of the outer capsid protein, Soc, which clamp adjacent gp23 hexamers. The occupancies of Soc molecules are proportional to the size of the angle between the planes of adjacent hexameric capsomers. The angle between adjacent hexameric capsomers is greatest around the fivefold vertices, where there is the largest deviation from a planar hexagonal array. Thus, the Soc molecules reinforce the structure where there is the greatest strain in the gp23 hexagonal lattice. Mutations that change the angles between adjacent capsomers affect the positions of the pentameric vertices, resulting in different triangulation numbers in bacteriophage T4. The analysis of the T4 mutant head assembly gives guidance to how other icosahedral viruses reproducibly assemble into capsids with a predetermined T number, although the influence of scaffolding proteins is also important.
Project description:We applied whole-cell electron cryotomography to the archaeon Sulfolobus infected by Sulfolobus turreted icosahedral virus (STIV), which belongs to the PRD1-Adeno lineage of dsDNA viruses. STIV infection induced the formation of pyramid-like protrusions with sharply defined facets on the cell surface. They had a thicker cross-section than the cytoplasmic membrane and did not contain an exterior surface protein layer (S-layer). Intrapyramidal bodies often occupied the volume of the pyramids. Mature virions, procapsids without genome cores, and partially assembled particles were identified, suggesting that the capsid and inner membrane coassemble in the cytoplasm to form a procapsid. A two-class reconstruction using a maximum likelihood algorithm demonstrated that no dramatic capsid transformation occurred upon DNA packaging. Virions tended to form tightly packed clusters or quasicrystalline arrays while procapsids mostly scattered outside or on the edges of the clusters. The study revealed vivid images of STIV assembly, maturation, and particle distribution in cell.
Project description:The double-stranded DNA bacteriophage PRD1 uses an IncP plasmid-encoded conjugal transfer complex as a receptor. Plasmid functions in the PRD1 life cycle are restricted to phage adsorption and DNA entry. A single phage structural protein, P2, located at the fivefold capsid vertices, is responsible for PRD1 attachment to its host. The purified recombinant adsorption protein was judged to be monomeric by gel filtration, rate zonal centrifugation, analytical ultracentrifugation, and chemical cross-linking. It binds to its receptor with an apparent K(d) of 0.20 nM, and this binding prevents phage adsorption. P2-deficient particles are unstable and spontaneously release the DNA with concomitant formation of the tail-like structure originating from the phage membrane. We envisage the DNA to be packaged through one vertex, but the presence of P2 on the other vertices suggests a mechanism whereby the injection vertex is determined by P2 binding to the receptor.
Project description:In internal membrane-containing viruses, a lipid vesicle enclosed by the icosahedral capsid protects the genome. It has been postulated that this internal membrane is the genome delivery device of the virus. Viruses built with this architectural principle infect hosts in all three domains of cellular life. Here, using a combination of electron microscopy techniques, we investigate bacteriophage PRD1, the best understood model for such viruses, to unveil the mechanism behind the genome translocation across the cell envelope. To deliver its double-stranded DNA, the icosahedral protein-rich virus membrane transforms into a tubular structure protruding from one of the 12 vertices of the capsid. We suggest that this viral nanotube exits from the same vertex used for DNA packaging, which is biochemically distinct from the other 11. The tube crosses the capsid through an aperture corresponding to the loss of the peripentonal P3 major capsid protein trimers, penton protein P31 and membrane protein P16. The remodeling of the internal viral membrane is nucleated by changes in osmolarity and loss of capsid-membrane interactions as consequence of the de-capping of the vertices. This engages the polymerization of the tail tube, which is structured by membrane-associated proteins. We have observed that the proteo-lipidic tube in vivo can pierce the gram-negative bacterial cell envelope allowing the viral genome to be shuttled to the host cell. The internal diameter of the tube allows one double-stranded DNA chain to be translocated. We conclude that the assembly principles of the viral tunneling nanotube take advantage of proteo-lipid interactions that confer to the tail tube elastic, mechanical and functional properties employed also in other protein-membrane systems.
Project description:Superimposition of protein structures is key in unravelling structural homology across proteins whose sequence similarity is lost. Structural comparison provides insights into protein function and evolution. Here, we review some of the original findings and thoughts that have led to the current established structure-based phylogeny of viruses: starting from the original observation that the major capsid proteins of plant and animal viruses possess similar folds, to the idea that each virus has an innate "self". This latter idea fueled the conceptualization of the PRD1-adenovirus lineage whose members possess a major capsid protein (innate "self") with a double jelly roll fold. Based on this approach, long-range viral evolutionary relationships can be detected allowing the virosphere to be classified in four structure-based lineages. However, this process is not without its challenges or limitations. As an example of these hurdles, we finally touch on the difficulty of establishing structural "self" traits for enveloped viruses showcasing the coronaviruses but also the power of structure-based analysis in the understanding of emerging viruses.
Project description:Many larger and more complex viruses deviate from the capsid layouts predicted in the seminal Caspar-Klug theory of icosahedral viruses. Instead of being built from one type of capsid protein (CP), they code for multiple distinct structural proteins that either break the local symmetry of the CP building blocks (capsomers) in specific positions or exhibit auxiliary proteins that stabilize the capsid shell. We investigate here the hypothesis that this occurs as a response to mechanical stress. For this, we construct a coarse-grained model of a viral capsid, derived from the experimentally determined atomistic positions of the CPs, that represents the basic features of protein organization in the viral capsid as described in Caspar-Klug theory. We focus here on viruses in the PRD1-adenovirus lineage. For T = 28 viruses in this lineage, which have capsids formed from two distinct structural proteins, we show that the tangential shear stress in the viral capsid concentrates at the sites of local symmetry breaking. In the T = 21, 25 and 27 capsids, we show that stabilizing proteins decrease the tangential stress. These results suggest that mechanical properties can act as selective pressures on the evolution of capsid components, offsetting the coding cost imposed by the need for such additional protein components.
Project description:Viruses have impacted the biosphere in numerous ways since the dawn of life. However, the evolution, genetic, structural, and taxonomic diversity of viruses remain poorly understood, in part because sparse sampling of the virosphere has concentrated mostly on exploring the abundance and diversity of dsDNA viruses. Furthermore, viral genomes are highly diverse, and using only the current sequence-based methods for classifying viruses and studying their phylogeny is complicated. Here we describe a virus, FLiP (Flavobacterium-infecting, lipid-containing phage), with a circular ssDNA genome and an internal lipid membrane enclosed in the icosahedral capsid. The 9,174-nt-long genome showed limited sequence similarity to other known viruses. The genetic data imply that this virus might use replication mechanisms similar to those found in other ssDNA replicons. However, the structure of the viral major capsid protein, elucidated at near-atomic resolution using cryo-electron microscopy, is strikingly similar to that observed in dsDNA viruses of the PRD1-adenovirus lineage, characterized by a major capsid protein bearing two β-barrels. The strong similarity between FLiP and another member of the structural lineage, bacteriophage PM2, extends to the capsid organization (pseudo T = 21 dextro) despite the difference in the genetic material packaged and the lack of significant sequence similarity.