Most double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) viruses are transcribed and replicated in a specialized icosahedral capsid with a T=1 lattice consisting of 60 asymmetric capsid protein (CP) dimers. These capsids help to organize the viral genome and replicative complex(es). They also act as molecular sieves that isolate the virus genome from host defense mechanisms and allow the passage of nucleotides and viral transcripts. Rosellinia necatrix quadrivirus 1 (RnQV1), the type species of the family Quadriviridae, is a dsRNA fungal virus with a multipartite genome consisting of four monocistronic segments (segments 1 to 4). dsRNA-2 and dsRNA-4 encode two CPs (P2 and P4, respectively), which coassemble into ∼450-Å-diameter capsids. We used three-dimensional cryo-electron microscopy combined with complementary biophysical techniques to determine the structures of RnQV1 virion strains W1075 and W1118. RnQV1 has a quadripartite genome, and the capsid is based on a single-shelled T=1 lattice built of P2-P4 dimers. Whereas the RnQV1-W1118 capsid is built of full-length CP, P2 and P4 of RnQV1-W1075 are cleaved into several polypeptides, maintaining the capsid structural organization. RnQV1 heterodimers have a quaternary organization similar to that of homodimers of reoviruses and other dsRNA mycoviruses. The RnQV1 capsid is the first T=1 capsid with a heterodimer as an asymmetric unit reported to date and follows the architectural principle for dsRNA viruses that a 120-subunit capsid is a conserved assembly that supports dsRNA replication and organization.

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Published in Journal of Virology, v. 90, no. 24, p. 11220-11230.

Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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This work, including the efforts of Carlos Alfonso and Germán Rivas, was funded by Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitively (BFU2014- 52070-C2-2-P). This work, including the efforts of José R. Castón, was funded by Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity (BFU2014- 55475-R). This work, including the efforts of José R. Castón, was funded by Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid (S2013/MIT-2807). This work, including the efforts of Benes L. Trus, was funded by Intramural Research Program of the NIH. This work, including the efforts of Nobuhiro Suzuki, was funded by Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Sports and Technology (MEXT) of Japan (16H06436).