Structural dynamics, an intrinsic property of viral capsids
- Cite this article as:
- Witz, J. & Brown, F. Arch. Virol. (2001) 146: 2263. doi:10.1007/s007050170001
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In this review, we emphasize that high-resolution models of the structures of small plant and animal viruses obtained by X-ray crystallography are static and insufficient to describe the behavior of these virions. Viral capsids are highly flexible and may undergo conformational changes under physiological conditions without collapse of the virions. This flexibility plays a key role in the process of infection.