Murine polyomavirus capsid

Murine polyomavirus capsid

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Credit: LAGUNA DESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Murine polyomavirus capsid, molecular model. This virus, one of a range named for their potential to cause multiple tumours, infects mice. It was the first polyomavirus to be discovered (Ludwik Gross, 1953). In viruses, the capsid is the protein shell that encloses the genetic material. A capsid consists of subunits called capsomeres that self-assemble to form the shell seen here. Here, this shell, approximately spherical in shape, has icosahedral symmetry. One of the functions of the capsid is to aid the transmission of the viral genetic material into host cells.

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