Structure of immature West Nile virus

J Virol. 2007 Jun;81(11):6141-5. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00037-07. Epub 2007 Mar 21.


The structure of immature West Nile virus particles, propagated in the presence of ammonium chloride to block virus maturation in the low-pH environment of the trans-Golgi network, was determined by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). The structure of these particles was similar to that of immature West Nile virus particles found as a minor component of mature virus samples (naturally occurring immature particles [NOIPs]). The structures of mature infectious flaviviruses are radically different from those of the immature particles. The similarity of the ammonium chloride-treated particles and NOIPs suggests either that the NOIPs have not undergone any conformational change during maturation or that the conformational change is reversible. Comparison with the cryo-EM reconstruction of immature dengue virus established the locations of the N-linked glycosylation sites of these viruses, verifying the interpretation of the reconstructions of the immature flaviviruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cryoelectron Microscopy
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Virion / chemistry
  • Virion / growth & development
  • Virion / ultrastructure
  • West Nile virus / chemistry*
  • West Nile virus / growth & development
  • West Nile virus / ultrastructure*

Associated data

  • PDB/2OF6