Asymmetry in icosahedral viruses

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Asymmetric structural elements are typically not readily visualized in icosahedral viruses that have other obvious symmetrical features and most asymmetry has gone unresolved for decades. Asymmetric features may be incorporated during assembly or maturation or develop during key steps in the infectious cycle of the virus. However, resolving asymmetric features requires abandoning capsid-wide symmetry averaging and relying on special applications during single-particle cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) analysis. Thanks to the advances in the cryo-EM field, we are learning more about asymmetry of viruses. Here we summarize some of what is currently known about asymmetric structural features using as examples members of the Togaviridae, Flaviviridae, Herpesviridae, Parvoviridae, and Papillomaviridae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101230
JournalCurrent Opinion in Virology
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

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© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


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