Composition and Structure of the Virion

  • Friedrich Koch
  • Gebhard Koch


The successful propagation of poliovirus in tissue culture cells in the early fifties permitted the production and isolation of large quantities of pure virus and provided sufficient material for successful investigations on virus structure. Crystallization of poliovirus particles was already achieved in the mid-fifties. Since then, detailed investigations on the compositional and structural features of the polio-virion have been carried out, including
  1. 1)

    studies on the overall virion architecture by electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography

  2. 2)

    the isolation and characterization of the component parts — the genomic RNA and the different polypeptide building blocks

  3. 3)

    the determination of the primary structures of RNA and protein

  4. 4)

    discoveries and partial elucidation of stepwise processes of assembly and disassembly

  5. 5)

    studies on the type of bonds involved in maintaining capsid integrity

  6. 6)

    indirect examinations of the relative spatial localization and surface exposure of component parts, and

  7. 7)

    speculations on the correlation of spatial arrangements and observed functions.



Capsid Protein Viral Capsid Antigenic Site Empty Shell Native Virion 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Friedrich Koch
    • 1
  • Gebhard Koch
    • 1
  1. 1.Abteilung MolekularbiologieUniversität HamburgFederal Republic of Germany

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