Viral self-assembly as a thermodynamic process.

  title={Viral self-assembly as a thermodynamic process.},
  author={Robijn F. Bruinsma and William M. Gelbart and David Reguera and Joseph Rudnick and Roya Zandi},
  journal={Physical review letters},
  volume={90 24},
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… CONTINUE READING

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T=h2+k2+hk with h and k any pair of non-negative integers

also, P. J. Butler, A. Klug, Scientific American, Nov
Advances of Virus Research 16, • 1978

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