Structural studies of Hantaan virus

J Virol. 2011 Jan;85(2):835-41. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01847-10. Epub 2010 Nov 10.


Hantaan virus is the prototypic member of the Hantavirus genus within the family Bunyaviridae and is a causative agent of the potentially fatal hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. The Bunyaviridae are a family of negative-sense RNA viruses with three-part segmented genomes. Virions are enveloped and decorated with spikes derived from a pair of glycoproteins (Gn and Gc). Here, we present cryo-electron tomography and single-particle cryo-electron microscopy studies of Hantaan virus virions. We have determined the structure of the tetrameric Gn-Gc spike complex to a resolution of 2.5 nm and show that spikes are ordered in lattices on the virion surface. Large cytoplasmic extensions associated with each Gn-Gc spike also form a lattice on the inner surface of the viral membrane. Rod-shaped ribonucleoprotein complexes are arranged into nearly parallel pairs and triplets within virions. Our results differ from the T=12 icosahedral organization found for some bunyaviruses. However, a comparison of our results with the previous tomographic studies of the nonpathogenic Tula hantavirus indicates a common structural organization for hantaviruses.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Cryoelectron Microscopy
  • Electron Microscope Tomography
  • Hantaan virus / ultrastructure*
  • Macromolecular Substances / ultrastructure
  • Vero Cells
  • Viral Proteins / ultrastructure
  • Virion / ultrastructure*


  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Viral Proteins