Structure of isometric viruses containing nonidentical polypeptide chains

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7 Scopus citations


The theory of Caspar and Klug (1962) for the structure of isometric viruses has been generalized to the case in which the identical repeating unit is composed of n nonidentical polypeptide chains. This modified theory accounts for the structure of picornaviruses, the lambda phage head, cowpea mosaic virus, and phiX174, while at the same time conserving the principle of having identical subunits in identical environments. Furthermore, the modified theory suggests amending the triangulation number to T[n] for capsids with n nonidentical polypeptide chains as the repeating unit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)878-885
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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