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Atomic structure of the human herpesvirus 6B capsid and capsid-associated tegument complexes.

  • Author(s): Zhang, Yibo
  • Liu, Wei
  • Li, Zihang
  • Kumar, Vinay
  • Alvarez-Cabrera, Ana L
  • Leibovitch, Emily C
  • Cui, Yanxiang
  • Mei, Ye
  • Bi, Guo-Qiang
  • Jacobson, Steve
  • Zhou, Z Hong
  • et al.

Human herpesvirus 6B (HHV-6B) belongs to the β-herpesvirus subfamily of the Herpesviridae. To understand capsid assembly and capsid-tegument interactions, here we report atomic structures of HHV-6B capsid and capsid-associated tegument complex (CATC) obtained by cryoEM and sub-particle reconstruction. Compared to other β-herpesviruses, HHV-6B exhibits high similarity in capsid structure but organizational differences in its CATC (pU11 tetramer). 180 "VΛ"-shaped CATCs are observed in HHV-6B, distinguishing from the 255 "Λ"-shaped dimeric CATCs observed in murine cytomegalovirus and the 310 "Δ"-shaped CATCs in human cytomegalovirus. This trend in CATC quantity correlates with the increasing genomes sizes of these β-herpesviruses. Incompatible distances revealed by the atomic structures rationalize the lack of CATC's binding to triplexes Ta, Tc, and Tf in HHV-6B. Our results offer insights into HHV-6B capsid assembly and the roles of its tegument proteins, including not only the β-herpesvirus-specific pU11 and pU14, but also those conserved across all subfamilies of Herpesviridae.

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