Viral capsid equilibrium dynamics reveals nonuniform elastic properties

May, E. R., Aggarwal, A. , Klug, W. S. and Brooks, C. L. (2011) Viral capsid equilibrium dynamics reveals nonuniform elastic properties. Biophysical Journal, 100(11), L59-L61. (doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.04.026) (PMID:21641297) (PMCID:PMC3117158)

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The long wavelength, low-frequency modes of motion are the relevant motions for understanding the continuum mechanical properties of biomolecules. By examining these low-frequency modes, in the context of a spherical harmonic basis set, we identify four elastic moduli that are required to describe the two-dimensional elastic behavior of capsids. This is in contrast to previous modeling and theoretical studies on elastic shells, which use only the two-dimensional Young's modulus (Y) and the bending modulus (κ) to describe the system. Presumably, the heterogeneity of the structure and the anisotropy of the biomolecular interactions lead to a deviation from the homogeneous, isotropic, linear elastic shell theory. We assign functional relevance of the various moduli governing different deformation modes, including a mode primarily sensed in atomic force microscopy nanoindentation experiments. We have performed our analysis on the T = 3 cowpea chlorotic mottle virus and our estimate for the nanoindentation modulus is in accord with experimental measurements.

Item Type:Articles (Letter)
Additional Information:This work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health to C.L.B. (RR012255) and by the National Science Foundation to E.R.M. (DBI-0905773) and W.S.K. (DMR-1006128).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Aggarwal, Dr Ankush
Authors: May, E. R., Aggarwal, A., Klug, W. S., and Brooks, C. L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment
Journal Name:Biophysical Journal
ISSN (Online):1542-0086
Published Online:07 June 2011

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