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Viral self-assembly as a thermodynamic process
Bruinsma, Robijn F.; Gelbart, William M.; Reguera, D. (David); Rudnick, Joseph; Zandi, Roya
The protein shells, or capsids, of nearly all spherelike viruses adopt icosahedral symmetry. In the present Letter, we propose a statistical thermodynamic model for viral self-assembly. We find that icosahedral symmetry is not expected for viral capsids constructed from structurally identical protein subunits and that this symmetry requires (at least) two internal switching configurations of the protein. Our results indicate that icosahedral symmetry is not a generic consequence of free energy minimization but requires optimization of internal structural parameters of the capsid proteins
Ciència dels materials
Termodinàmica estadística
Biological and medical physics
Materials science
Statistical thermodynamics
(c) American Physical Society, 2003
American Physical Society

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