Structures of enveloped virions determined by cryogenic electron microscopy and tomography
Stass R., Ng WM., Kim YC., Huiskonen JT.
© 2019 Elsevier Inc. Enveloped viruses enclose their genomes inside a lipid bilayer which is decorated by membrane proteins that mediate virus entry. These viruses display a wide range of sizes, morphologies and symmetries. Spherical viruses are often isometric and their envelope proteins follow icosahedral symmetry. Filamentous and pleomorphic viruses lack such global symmetry but their surface proteins may display locally ordered assemblies. Determining the structures of enveloped viruses, including the envelope proteins and their protein-protein interactions on the viral surface, is of paramount importance. These structures can reveal how the virions are assembled and released by budding from the infected host cell, how the progeny virions infect new cells by membrane fusion, and how antibodies bind surface epitopes to block infection. In this chapter, we discuss the uses of cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) in elucidating structures of enveloped virions. Starting from a detailed outline of data collection and processing strategies, we highlight how cryo-EM has been successfully utilized to provide unique insights into enveloped virus entry, assembly, and neutralization.