For the first time in 3D and atomic resolution: Researchers from the Department of Molecular Biology at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, in cooperation with colleagues from Würzburg, have succeeded in presenting the propagation strategy of Vaccinia viruses. These viruses also serve as vaccines against human smallpox diseases and as the basis for new cancer therapies.
For viruses to multiply, they usually need support of the cells they infect. Only in their host´s nucleus can they find the machines, proteins, and building blocks with which they can copy their genetic material before infecting other cells.
But not all viruses find their way into the cell nucleus. Some remain outside the cytoplasm and have to double their genetic material without help. To do so, they carry the necessary “machinery” with them. A…