Novel structural features of bovine papillomavirus capsid revealed by a three-dimensional reconstruction to 9 A resolution

Nat Struct Biol. 1997 May;4(5):413-20. doi: 10.1038/nsb0597-413.


The three-dimensional structure of bovine papillomavirus has been determined to 9 A resolution by reconstruction of high resolution, low dose cryo-electron micrographs of quench-frozen virions. Although hexavalent and pentavalent capsomeres form star-shaped pentamers of the major capsid protein L1, they have distinct high-resolution structures. Most prominently, a 25 A hole in the centre of hexavalent capsomeres is occluded in the pentavalent capsomeres. This raises the possibility that the L2 minor capsid protein is located in the centre of the pentavalent capsomeres. Inter-capsomere connections approximately 10 A in diameter were clearly resolved. These link adjacent capsomeres and are reminiscent of the helical connections that stabilize polyomavirus.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bovine papillomavirus 1 / ultrastructure*
  • Capsid / ultrastructure*
  • Capsid Proteins*
  • Cattle
  • Cryopreservation
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Microscopy, Electron / methods*
  • Polyomavirus / ultrastructure


  • Capsid Proteins
  • L1 protein, Bovine papillomavirus
  • L2 protein, Bovine papillomavirus