The highest-resolution image yet of the Zika virus, or any enveloped virus thus far, appears June 26 in the journal Structure. The scientists, Madhumati Sevvana, Feng Long, Andrew S. Miller, Thomas Klose, Geeta Buda, Lei Sun, Richard J. Kuhn, and Michael G. Rossmann, used the latest electron microscopy techniques to see the atomic details of the Zika virus structure. They took advantage of Zika virus stability compared to its flavivirus cousins, such as dengue virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, and yellow fever virus, allowing for a particularly accurate three-dimensional atomic model. "With the higher resolution, it is now possible to efficiently design vaccines and engineer anti-viral compounds that inhibit the virus," says Michael G. Rossmann, a structural biologist at Purdue University.
The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Structure, Sevvana et al. "Refinement and Analysis of the Mature Zika Virus Cryo-EM Structure at 3.1 Å Resolution" http://www.cell.com/structure/fulltext/S0969-2126(18)30170-9
Structure (Structure_CP), published by Cell Press, is a monthly journal that aims to publish papers of exceptional interest in the field of structural biology. It strives to be essential reading for structural biologists, as well as biologists and biochemists that are interested in macromolecular structure and function. Visit: http://www.