Impact of the topology of viral RNAs on their encapsulation by virus coat proteins_

Talk by Prof. Paul van der Schoot, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven at Campus Belval Room F0.11

Single-stranded RNAs of simple viruses seem to be topologically more compact than other types of single-stranded RNA. It has been suggested that this has an evolutionary purpose: more compact structures are more easily encapsulated in the limited space that the cavity of the virus capsid offers. We employ a simple Flory theory to calculate the optimal amount of polymers confined in a viral shell and find that the free energy gain or more specifically the efficiency of RNA encapsidation increases substantially with topological compactness. The optimal length of RNA encapsidated in a capsid increases with the degree of branching of the genome even though this effect is very weak. Further, if the structure of the branching of the polymer is allowed to anneal, the optimal loading increases substantially. More elaborate field-theoretical calculations confirm these conclusions.

Next Seminars
20 November 2013, Prof. Rainer Birringer, Limpertsberg, 16h00
On the mechanisms enabling plasticity at the low end of the nanoscale

4 December 2013, Prof. Wübbenhorst, Limpertsberg, 16h00
Physical vapour deposition of organic glass formers: a route towards stable glasses and ordered liquids

11 December 2013, Dr. Martin Michael Muller, Belval, 16h00

18 December 2013, Dr. Charles Dewhurst, Limpertsberg, 16h00
Small-Angle Neutron Scattering – Instrumentation and Scattering from Magnetic and Superconducting materials

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