The structure of a putative scaffolding protein of immature poxvirus particles as determined by electron microscopy suggests similarity with capsid proteins of large icosahedral DNA viruses

Jae-Kyung Hyun, Fasseli Joseph Coulibaly, Adrian P Turner, Edward N Baker, Andrew A Mercer, Alok K Mitra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Orf virus, the prototype parapoxvirus, is responsible for contagious ecthyma in sheep and goats. The central region of the viral genome codes for proteins highly conserved among vertebrate poxviruses and which are frequently essential for viral proliferation. Analysis of the recently published genome sequence of orf virus revealed that among such essential proteins, the protein orfv075 is an orthologue of D13, the rifampin resistance gene product critical for vaccinia virus morphogenesis. Previous studies showed that D13, arranged as spicules, is necessary for the formation of vaccinia virus immature virions, a mandatory intermediate in viral maturation. We have determined the three-dimensional structure of recombinant orfv075 at approximately 25-A resolution by electron microscopy of two-dimensional crystals. orfv075 organizes as trimers with a tripod-like main body and a propeller-like smaller domain. The molecular envelope of orfv075 shows unexpectedly good agreement to that of a distant homologue, VP54, the major capsid protein of Paramecium bursaria Chlorella virus type 1. Our structural analysis suggests that orfv075 belongs in the double-barreled capsid protein family found in many double-stranded DNA icosahedral viruses and supports the hypothesis that the nonicosahedral poxviruses and the large icosahedral DNA viruses are evolutionarily related.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11075 - 11083
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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