Virus particle dynamics derived from CryoEM studies

Curr Opin Virol. 2016 Jun:18:57-63. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2016.02.011. Epub 2016 Apr 14.


The direct electron detector has revolutionized electron cryo-microscopy (CryoEM). Icosahedral virus structures are routinely produced at 4Å resolution or better and the approach has largely displaced virus crystallography, as it requires less material, less purity and often produces a structure more rapidly. Largely ignored in this new era of CryoEM is the dynamic information in the data sets that was not available in X-ray structures. Here we review an approach that captures the dynamic character of viruses displayed in the CryoEM ensemble of particles at the moment of freezing. We illustrate the approach with a simple model, briefly describe the details and provide a practical application to virus particle maturation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Capsid / physiology
  • Capsid / ultrastructure
  • Cryoelectron Microscopy / instrumentation
  • Cryoelectron Microscopy / methods*
  • Crystallography, X-Ray / methods
  • Models, Molecular
  • Virion / physiology*
  • Virion / ultrastructure*
  • Virus Assembly
  • Viruses / metabolism*
  • Viruses / ultrastructure*