Cryo-EM structure of in vitro assembled Measles virus N into nucleocapsid-like particles (NCLPs) bound to polyA RNA hexamers.

Experimental Data Snapshot

  • Resolution: 3.30 Å
  • Aggregation State: HELICAL ARRAY 
  • Reconstruction Method: HELICAL 

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This is version 1.3 of the entry. See complete history


Assembly and cryo-EM structures of RNA-specific measles virus nucleocapsids provide mechanistic insight into paramyxoviral replication.

Desfosses, A.Milles, S.Jensen, M.R.Guseva, S.Colletier, J.P.Maurin, D.Schoehn, G.Gutsche, I.Ruigrok, R.W.H.Blackledge, M.

(2019) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 116: 4256-4264

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1816417116
  • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  
    6H5Q, 6H5S

  • PubMed Abstract: 

    Assembly of paramyxoviral nucleocapsids on the RNA genome is an essential step in the viral cycle. The structural basis of this process has remained obscure due to the inability to control encapsidation. We used a recently developed approach to assemble measles virus nucleocapsid-like particles on specific sequences of RNA hexamers (poly-Adenine and viral genomic 5') in vitro, and determined their cryoelectron microscopy maps to 3.3-Å resolution. The structures unambiguously determine 5' and 3' binding sites and thereby the binding-register of viral genomic RNA within nucleocapsids. This observation reveals that the 3' end of the genome is largely exposed in fully assembled measles nucleocapsids. In particular, the final three nucleotides of the genome are rendered accessible to the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase complex, possibly enabling efficient RNA processing. The structures also reveal local and global conformational changes in the nucleoprotein upon assembly, in particular involving helix α6 and helix α13 that form edges of the RNA binding groove. Disorder is observed in the bound RNA, localized at one of the two backbone conformational switch sites. The high-resolution structure allowed us to identify putative nucleobase interaction sites in the RNA-binding groove, whose impact on assembly kinetics was measured using real-time NMR. Mutation of one of these sites, R195, whose sidechain stabilizes both backbone and base of a bound nucleic acid, is thereby shown to be essential for nucleocapsid-like particle assembly.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, Institut de Biologie Structurale, Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, 38000 Grenoble, France.


Find similar proteins by:  (by identity cutoff)  |  3D Structure
Entity ID: 1
MoleculeChains Sequence LengthOrganismDetailsImage
NucleocapsidA [auth B]415Measles morbillivirusMutation(s): 0 
Gene Names: N
Find proteins for B8PZP0 (Measles morbillivirus)
Explore B8PZP0 
Go to UniProtKB:  B8PZP0
Entity Groups  
Sequence Clusters30% Identity50% Identity70% Identity90% Identity95% Identity100% Identity
UniProt GroupB8PZP0
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence

Find similar nucleic acids by:  Sequence   |   3D Structure  

Entity ID: 2
MoleculeChains LengthOrganismImage
RNA (5'-R(*AP*AP*AP*AP*AP*A)-3')B [auth R]6synthetic construct
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence
Experimental Data & Validation

Experimental Data

  • Resolution: 3.30 Å
  • Aggregation State: HELICAL ARRAY 
  • Reconstruction Method: HELICAL 
EM Software:
TaskSoftware PackageVersion

Structure Validation

View Full Validation Report

Entry History & Funding Information

Deposition Data

Funding OrganizationLocationGrant Number
European Molecular Biology OrganizationFranceALTF 468-2014
European CommissionEMBOCOFUND2012, GA-2012-600394
Fondation Recherche Medicale (FRM)FranceARF20160936266

Revision History  (Full details and data files)

  • Version 1.0: 2019-03-13
    Type: Initial release
  • Version 1.1: 2019-07-31
    Changes: Data collection, Refinement description
  • Version 1.2: 2019-11-06
    Changes: Data collection, Database references
  • Version 1.3: 2019-12-11
    Changes: Other