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Durham University

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Publication details for Anne Taormina

Peeters, K. & Taormina, A. (2009). Group theory of icosahedral virus capsid vibrations: a top-down approach. Journal of Theoretical Biology 256(4): 607-624.

Author(s) from Durham


We explore the use of a top-down approach to analyse the dynamics of icosahedral virus capsids and complement the information obtained from bottom-up studies of viral vibrations available in the literature. A normal mode analysis based on protein association energies is used to study the frequency spectrum, in which we reveal a universal plateau of low-frequency modes shared by a large class of Caspar–Klug capsids. These modes break icosahedral symmetry and are potentially relevant to the genome release mechanism. We comment on the role of viral tiling theory in such dynamical considerations.