Reguera Research Group

... at University of Barcelona

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Structure

altThe shell (capsid) of a virus is made of several copies of one (or a few) assymetrical protein subunit(s), which usually cluster into morphological units called capsomers. Capsids show different kinds of geometrical shapes (e.g rod-like, spherical, spherocylindrical, conical,...) with highly symmetrical properties. In particular,? icosahedral symmetry is present in all spherical capsids. In our research we are developing different theoretical approaches to characterize the geometrical principles of viral shells, and to understand the origin of these architectures based on physical principles (e.g minimization of the energy).

Figure from left to right: cryo-em reconstruction of the Bacteriophage T4 (Fokine et al., PNAS 2004), and a capsid with spherocylindrical numbers T=13 and Q=20.