Role of sindbis virus capsid protein region II in nucleocapsid core assembly and encapsidation of genomic RNA

J Virol. 2008 May;82(9):4461-70. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01936-07. Epub 2008 Feb 27.


Sindbis virus is an enveloped positive-sense RNA virus in the alphavirus genus. The nucleocapsid core contains the genomic RNA surrounded by 240 copies of a single capsid protein. The capsid protein is multifunctional, and its roles include acting as a protease, controlling the specificity of RNA that is encapsidated into nucleocapsid cores, and interacting with viral glycoproteins to promote the budding of mature virus and the release of the genomic RNA into the newly infected cell. The region comprising amino acids 81 to 113 was previously implicated in two processes, the encapsidation of the viral genomic RNA and the stable accumulation of nucleocapsid cores in the cytoplasm of infected cells. In the present study, specific amino acids within this region responsible for the encapsidation of the genomic RNA have been identified. The region that is responsible for nucleocapsid core accumulation has considerable overlap with the region that controls encapsidation specificity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence / physiology
  • Capsid Proteins / genetics
  • Capsid Proteins / physiology*
  • Genome, Viral*
  • Mutation
  • Nucleocapsid
  • RNA, Viral
  • Sindbis Virus / physiology*
  • Virus Assembly*


  • Capsid Proteins
  • RNA, Viral