Asymmetric binding of transferrin receptor to parvovirus capsids

Susan Hafenstein, Laura M. Palermo, Victor A. Kostyuchenko, Chuan Xiao, Marc C. Morais, Christian D.S. Nelson, Valorie D. Bowman, Anthony J. Battisti, Paul R. Chipman, Colin R. Parrish, Michael G. Rossmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Although many viruses are icosahedral when they initially bind to one or more receptor molecules on the cell surface, such an interaction is asymmetric, probably causing a breakdown in the symmetry and conformation of the original infecting virion in preparation for membrane penetration and release of the viral genome. Cryoelectron microscopy and biochemical analyses show that transferrin receptor, the cellular receptor for canine parvovirus, can bind to only one or a few of the 60 icosahedrally equivalent sites on the virion, indicating that either canine parvovirus has inherent asymmetry or binding of receptor induces asymmetry. The asymmetry of receptor binding to canine parvovirus is reminiscent of the special portal in tailed bacteriophages and some large, icosahedral viruses. Asymmetric interactions of icosahedral viruses with their hosts might be a more common phenomenon than previously thought and may have been obscured by averaging in previous crystallographic and electron microscopic structure determinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6585-6589
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 17 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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