Susan Cotmore, Mandy Janssen, Justin Kurian, Adam Misseldine, Mavis Agbandje-McKenna, Paul Chipman, Nikéa Pittman, Timothy S Baker, Anthony D'Abramo, Sujata Halder, Peter Tattersall, Robert Mckenna, J Kennon Smith, Lorena Geilen
LuIII, a protoparvovirus pathogenic to rodents, replicates in human mitotic cells, making it applicable for use to kill cancer cells. This virus group includes H-1 parvovirus (H-1PV) and minute virus of mice (MVM). However, LuIII displays enhanced oncolysis compared to H-1PV and MVM, a phenotype mapped to the major capsid viral protein 2 (VP2). This suggests that within LuIII VP2 are determinants for improved tumor lysis. To investigate this, the structure of the LuIII virus-like-particle was determined using single particle cryo-electron microscopy and image reconstruction to 3.17 Å resolution, and compared to the H-1PV and MVM structures. The LuIII VP2 structure, ordered from residue 37 to 587 (C-terminal), had the conserved VP topology and capsid morphology previously reported for other protoparvoviruses. This includes a core β-barrel and α-helix A, a depression at the icosahedral 2-fold and surrounding the 5-fold axes, and a single protrusion at the 3-fold axes. Comparative analysis identified surface loop differences among LuIII, H-1PV, and MVM at or close to the capsid 2- and 5-fold symmetry axes, and the shoulder of the 3-fold protrusions. The 2-fold differences cluster near the previously identified MVM sialic acid receptor binding pocket, and revealed potential determinants of protoparvovirus tumor tropism.