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Crosslinking in viral capsids via tiling theory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Publication details

JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
DatePublished - 7 Jun 2006
Issue number3
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)419-424
Original languageEnglish


A vital part of a virus is its protein shell, called the viral capsid, that encapsulates and hence protects the viral genome. It has been shown in Twarock [2004. A tiling approach to vius capsids assembly explaining a structural puzzle in virology. J. Theor. Biol. 226, 477-482] that the surface structures of viruses with icosahedrally symmetric capsids can be modelled in terms of tilings that encode the locations of the protein subunits. This theory is extended here to multi-level tilings in order to model crosslinking structures. The new framework is demonstrated for the case of bacteriophage HK97, and it is shown, how the theory can be used in general to decide if crosslinking, and what type of crosslinking, is compatible from a mathematical point of view with the geometrical surface structure of a virus. (c) 2005 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

    Research areas

  • Caspar-Klug Theory, tiling theory, viral capsids, bacteriophage HK97, crosslinking

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