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The unordered N-termini of parvovirus capsid proteins (Nt) are translocated through a channel at the icosahedral five-fold axis to serve for virus traffick. Heterologous peptides were genetically inserted at the Nt of MVM to study their functional tolerance to manipulations. Insertion of a 5T4-single-chain antibody at VP2-Nt (2Nt) yielded chimeric capsid subunits failing to enter the nucleus. The VEGFR2-binding peptide (V1) inserted at both 2Nt and VP1-Nt efficiently assembled in virions, but V1 disrupted VP1 and VP2 entry functions. The VP2 defect correlated with restricted externalization of V1-2Nt out of the coat. The specific infectivity of MVM and wtVP-pseudotyped mosaic MVM-V1 virions, upon heating and/or partial 2Nt cleavage, demonstrated that some 2Nt domains become intracellularly translocated out of the virus shell and cleaved to initiate entry. The V1 insertion defines a VP2-driven endosomal enlargement of the channel as an essential structural rearrangement performed by the MVM virion to infect.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





45 - 56


Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (CSIC-UAM), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Cantoblanco, Madrid, Spain.


Cell Line, Cell Nucleus, Endosomes, Animals, Mice, Capsid Proteins, Virus Assembly, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Models, Biological, Minute virus of mice, Virus Internalization