The matrix protein (M) of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the prototype viral member of the Pneumovirinae (family Paramyxoviridae, order Mononegavirales), has been crystallized and the structure determined to a resolution of 1.6 Å. The structure comprises 2 compact β-rich domains connected by a relatively unstructured linker region. Due to the high degree of side-chain order in the structure, an extensive contiguous area of positive surface charge covering ≈600 Å2 can be resolved. This unusually large patch of positive surface potential spans both domains and the linker, and provides a mechanism for driving the interaction of the protein with a negatively-charged membrane surface or other virion components such as the nucleocapsid. This patch is complemented by regions of high hydrophobicity and a striking planar arrangement of tyrosine residues encircling the C-terminal domain. Comparison of the RSV M sequence with other members of the Pneumovirinae shows that regions of divergence correspond to surface exposed loops in the M structure, with the majority of viral species-specific differences occurring in the N-terminal domain
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.