Three-dimensional structure of a mouse-adapted type 2/type 1 poliovirus chimera.


The crystal structure of V510, a chimeric type 2/type 1 poliovirus, has been determined at 2.6 A resolution. Unlike the parental Mahoney strain of type 1 poliovirus, V510 is able to replicate in the mouse central nervous system, due entirely to the replacement of six amino acids in the exposed BC loop of capsid protein VP1. Significant structural differences between the two strains cluster in a major antigenic site of the virus, located at the apex of the radial projection which surrounds the viral five-fold axis. Residues implicated in the mouse-virulence of poliovirus by genetic studies are located in this area, and include the residues which are responsible for stabilizing the conformation of the BC loop in V510. Despite evidence that this area is not involved in receptor binding in cultured primate cells, the genetic and structural observations suggest that this area plays a critical role in receptor interactions in the mouse central nervous system. These results provide a structural framework for further investigation of the molecular determinants of host and tissue tropism in viruses.

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