Visualizing the RNA Molecule in the Bacterially Expressed Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Nucleoprotein-RNA Complex

Academic Article


  • Packaging of the RNA molecule in viruses is important for the preservation and expression of viral genomic information. The vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) nucleoproteins are kept associated with its negative-strand RNA during the mRNA synthesis and replication, in contrast to the tobacco mosaic virus whose nucleoproteins are released from RNA. It has been a puzzle how the VSV RNA is packaged to meet the contradicting requirements of protection and the accessibility to the polymerase. We report an 18 Å resolution structure of the recombinant nucleoprotein-RNA complex determined by single-particle electron microscopy. In the 3D density map, a ring of density is resolved on the inner surface and the density is proposed to be the RNA. The RNA is located on the inner surface of the decameric complex near the top end. This is dramatically different from the RNA packaging in TMV, but consistent with previously published biochemical findings.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Structure  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 22497282
  • Author List

  • Chen Z; Green TJ; Luo M; Li H
  • Start Page

  • 227
  • End Page

  • 235
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 2