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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Efficient in vivo and in vitro assembly of retroviral capsids from Gag precursor proteins expressed in bacteria.

The capsid precursor protein (Gag) of Mason-Pfizer monkey virus, the prototype type D retrovirus, has been expressed to high levels in bacteria under the control of the phage T7 promoter. Electron microscopic studies of induced cells revealed the assembly of capsid-like structures within inclusion bodies that formed at the poles of the cells 6 h after induction with isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG). The inclusion bodies and enclosed capsid-like structures were solubilized completely in 8 M urea, but following renaturation, we observed assembly in vitro of capsid-like structures that demonstrated apparent icosahedral symmetry. These results demonstrate for the first time that retroviral capsid precursors have the propensity to self-assemble in vitro and point to new approaches for the analysis of retroviral assembly and structure.[1]


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