We explore the use of a top-down approach to analyse the dynamics of icosahedral virus capsids and complement the information obtained from bottom-up studies of viral vibrations available in the literature. A normal mode analysis based on protein association energies is used to study the frequency spectrum, in which we reveal a universal plateau of low-frequency modes shared by a large class of Caspar–Klug capsids. These modes break icosahedral symmetry and are potentially relevant to the genome release mechanism. We comment on the role of viral tiling theory in such dynamical considerations.
Biomolecular assembly, Viruses, Normal modes of vibration.
Accepted Journal Article
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of theoretical biology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of theoretical biology, 256 (4), 2009, 10.1016/j.jtbi.2008.10.019