A new theory was published on a website on September 27 correctly predicts the positions of proteins within icosahedral (twenty-sided) protein containers of viruses. The researchers at the University of York in the UK and San Diego State University in the US declared that the discovery surrounds scientific understanding of how the virus form, evolve and infect hosts.
The viruses store and protein their genetic materials within capsids. The protein containers differ in size and structure. Most viruses significantly use polyhedral designs with icosahedral symmetry. This symmetric structure increases the volume while reducing the cost of coding. According to the Caspar and Klug theory, smaller relative portions of genomic sequences in icosahedral structures allows for the formation of larger viruses with a greater coding ability for other viral components that enable more complex infection scenarios. Therefore, the improvements in the image have now made it convenient for the researchers to view the viral structures in high resolution.
It is unfortunate that all viruses do not fit the Caspar and Klug description, therefore researchers used Archimedean lattices to derive and explain outliers from the Caspar Klug theory. By putting some mathematical predictions, they found that icosahedral and octahedral architectures are dependent on Archimedean lattices. Moreover, capsid surface structures that compose the lattices have a structure with the same number of proteins and architectures among different viral lineages. Reidun Twarock, a mathematical biologist at the University of York said that the study represents a quantum leap forward in the field of structural virology, and closes gaps in our understanding of the structures of many viruses that are ill-described by the existing framework.
This hypothesis will assist researchers in analyzing the physical properties of infections, for example, their strength, which is significant for a superior comprehension of the system of contamination. Such bits of knowledge would then be able to be abused for the improvement of novel antiviral strategies. Specifically, the structures of bigger and progressively complex infections that are shaped from various parts were previously not well understood. The lattices depicted in the report could have significant applications in nanotechnology and biomedicine, as indicated by the authors. Scientists presently have the devices and data important to construct icosahedral protein nanostructures gathered from pentamer and trimers. These developed structures can be utilized for antibodies, drug delivery, phage display, imaging, and beyond.
(with inputs from agencies)