Viral capsids: Kinetics of assembly under transient conditions and kinetics of disassembly
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2014
The available kinetic models of assembly of viral protein capsids are focused primarily on the situations in vitro where the amount of protein is fixed. In vivo, however, the viral protein synthesis and capsid assembly occur under transient conditions in parallel with viral genome replication. Herein, a kinetic model describing the latter case of capsid assembly is proposed with emphasis on the period corresponding to the initial stage of viral genome replication. The analysis is aimed at small icosahedral capsids. With biologically reasonable values of model parameters, the model predicts rapid exponential growth of the populations of monomers and fully assembled capsids during the transient period of genome replication. Under the subsequent steady-state conditions with respect to replication, the monomer population is predicted to be nearly constant while the number of fully assembled capsids increases linearly. The kinetics of capsid disassembly, described briefly as well under conditions of negligible monomer concentration, exhibit a short induction period when the number of proteins in a capsid is only slightly smaller than in the beginning, followed by more rapid protein detachment. According to calculations, the latter kinetics may strongly depend on protein degradation.