Crystallographic study of the core of blue tongue virus
Gouet P., Zientara S., Grimes J., Diprose J., Malby R., Burroughs N., Mertens PPC., Stuart DI.
The structure of the core of bluetongue virus has been determined to 3,5 Å resolution by x-ray crystallography. Solving such a structure composed of 1 000 proteins is a challenge. It necessitates close collaborations between crystallographers, virologists and electron microscopists. The core is made of a proteinic capsid, 700 Å in diameter, enclosing a double-stranded RNA genome and a set of proteins required for transcription. The crystallographic structure reveals how the proteins of the capsid self-assemble, to form 2 layers whose subunits are arranged on different quasi-equivalent lattices. Tubes of electron density are observed below this envelope, which can be assigned to the RNA genome.