A schematic 3D model of the vaccinia virion
in this web site a schematic, dynamic 3D model of vaccinia
virion. The model was constructed to accompany a review of
vaccinia virus structure and assembly (Condit et al., 2006).
The model is not intended to be definitive in its details,
especially given continuing uncertainty regarding dimensions
of the virion and its substructures, but we feel that it will
clarify some of the microscopic images available and the interrelationships
of the virion components.
dimensions we have used the measurements determined by Cyrklaff
et al. (2005) using cryo electron tomography, and for internal
dimensions we have used the measurements determined by Hollinshead
et al. (1999) from cryosections. Additional details and references
pertaining to the virion structure can be found in the review
(Condit et al., 2006).
appears as a slightly flattened barrel with overall dimensions
of approximately 360 x 270 x 250 nm. The particle is encased
in an outer membrane, which itself consists of two component
domains. The outermost membrane domain is 9 nm thick and the
innermost membrane domain is 5 nm thick. The membrane contains
a lipid bilayer, which probably corresponds to the inner membrane
domain. We have not attempted to show the ridges, “surface
tubule elements”, normally seen on the surface of negatively
stained preparations of virus. Within the membrane is the
core, which is also barrel shaped, but which contains two
indentations, one on each of the largest surfaces. The core
is defined by a core wall, which is also comprised of two
layers, an outer, thicker, striated “palisade”
layer 17 nm thick, and an inner smooth layer 8 nm thick. We
have not attempted to show the striations comprising the palisade
of the outer core wall. Filling the spaces between the core
wall and the membrane that are created by the indentations
in the core are “lateral bodies”. Within the core
is a tube-like structure, 50 nm in diameter with a 10 nm diameter
core. This tube is folded upon itself into three continuous
segments, with a total length of approximately 250 nm.
R. C., Moussatche, N., Traktman, P., (2006). In a nutshell:
structure and assembly of the vaccinia virion. Adv.Virus Res.
Cyrklaff, M., Risco, C., Fernandez, J. J., Jimenez, M. V.,
Esteban, M., Baumeister, W., Carrascosa, J. L., (2005). Cryo-electron
tomography of vaccinia virus. Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.U.S.A 102,
Hollinshead, M., Vanderplasschen, A., Smith, G. L., Vaux,
D. J., (1999). Vaccinia virus intracellular mature virions
contain only one lipid membrane. J.Virol. 73, 1503-1517.