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BIOCHEMISTRY: Viral Glycoproteins and an Evolutionary Conundrum

Access to the article is free, however registration and sign-in are required. Many animal viruses are surrounded by an envelope--a membrane that consists of a lipid bilayer derived from some host cell compartment, studded with spikes of virally encoded glycoproteins. These proteins are the targets of neutralizing antibodies and are thus of great interest as potential vaccines. From a viral perspective, glycoproteins recognize which cells a given virus may infect by binding to surface receptors and effect cell entry after initial contact has been made. Glycoproteins from two entirely different viruses share the same novel structure, raising intriguing questions about the evolutionary origins of these and other viruses.

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Resource Type: Journal article/Issue, Diagram, Review
Audience Level: Undergraduate lower division 13-14, Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate

Author and Copyright

Authors and Editors: Alasdair C. Steven of Laboratory of Structural Biology, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Patricia G. Spear of Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
Publisher: AAAS
Format: text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: No


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