Publication Date



Journal of Virology


Genetic and biochemical studies have suggested the existence of a bacteriophage-like, DNA-packaging/ejecting portal complex in herpesviruses capsids, but its arrangement remained unknown. Here, we report the first visualization of a unique vertex in the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) capsid by cryoelectron tomography, thus providing direct structural evidence for the existence of a portal complex in a gammaherpesvirus. This putative KSHV portal is an internally localized, umbilicated structure and lacks all of the external machineries characteristic of portals in DNA bacteriophages.


Capsid Proteins, Cryoelectron Microscopy, Herpesvirus 8, Human, Models, Molecular, Protein Structure, Quaternary



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