Crystallization of viruslike particles assembled from flock house virus coat protein expressed in a baculovirus system

Andrew J Fisher, Bonnie R. Mckinney, Anette Schneemann, Roland R. Rueckert, John E. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Flock house virus coat protein expressed in a baculovirus system spontaneously assembles into viruslike particles, which undergo an autocatalytic postassembly cleavage equivalent to that of the native virus. Mutations of the asparagine at the Asn/Ala cleavage site result in assembly of provirion-like particles that are cleavage defective. Crystals of the mutant provirions have been grown, and they diffract X rays beyond 3.3-Å (0.33-nm) resolution. The crystals are monoclinic space group P21 (a = 464.8 Å [46.48 nm]; b = 333.9 Å [33.39 nm]; c = 325.2 Å [32.52 nm]; β = 91.9°) with two provirion-like particles per unit cell. Thus, it should be possible to determine the high-resolution structure of the provirion, which will be compared with the crystal structure of the mature authentic virion. This collation should provide mechanistic detail for understanding the cleavage event. Moreover, this demonstrates that the baculovirus expression system displays sufficient fidelity to permit crystallographic analysis of the assembly process of biological macromolecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2950-2953
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1993
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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